Google alleges India antitrust body copied parts of EU order on Android abuse

By Aditya Kalra and Munsif Vengattil

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Google has ruled part of a European judgment against a US company in an Indian court after Indian antitrust investigators accused it of abusing the market power of its Android operating system. It said it had copied it and argued that the judgment should be reversed, legal documents show.

In October, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined Alphabet Inc’s Google $161 million for abusing its dominant position in markets such as online search and the Android app store, and banned pre-installed apps. Relatedly, we called for changes to the restrictions imposed on smartphone manufacturers.

Sources told Reuters in October that the remedies ordered were seen as broader than the European Commission’s landmark 2018 ruling imposing unlawful restrictions on Android mobile device makers. Google said it was concerned about India’s decision. Google is contesting his record €4.1 billion ($4.3 billion) fine over the matter.

In documents filed with the Indian Court of Appeals, Google alleges that the CCI’s investigative arm “developed evidence from Europe that was not investigated in India and was extensively copied from the European Commission’s decision.” doing.

“There were over 50 instances of copy-paste,” in some cases “word for word,” and Watchdog erroneously dismissed the issue, Google said in a filing.

“The Commission failed to conduct a fair, balanced, and legally sound investigation…Google’s mobile app distribution practices are procompetitive and not unfair/exclusive.”

Spokespeople for the CCI and the European Commission did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In a statement, Google said it had decided to appeal the CCI’s decision, believing it would be “a major blow to users and businesses in India.” rice field.

Google has asked the court to reverse the CCI’s order, and the case is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday.

India’s competition ruling comes at a time when Google faces increased antitrust investigations around the world. Google licenses its Android system to smartphone makers, but critics say it imposes anti-competitive restrictions.

The US company says Android will create more choice for everyone and such deals help keep the operating system free. In Europe, 75% of 550 million smartphones run on Android, while India runs 97% of his 600 million devices, Counterpoint Research estimates. .

In October, the CCI ruled that Google’s licensing of the Play Store “should not be associated with any pre-installation requirements” for Google Search Services, the Chrome browser, YouTube, or any other Google application.

In its appeal, Google claims the CCI only found antitrust violations related to the Google Search app, Chrome browser and YouTube, but the order “extends” beyond that.

Separately, Google has also appealed another Indian antitrust decision that fined it $113 million for restricting the use of third-party billing or payment processing services in India. did. The appeal has not yet been heard.

($1 = 0.9493 Euro)

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Munsif Vengattil; additional reporting by Arpan Chaturvedi; editing by Mark Potter)

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