Google claims that India’s antitrust authority copied parts of the European Union’s order on Android abuse

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  • Google wants to overturn Indian antitrust decisions
  • An Indian watchdog copied parts of the EU’s request, Google claims
  • Google says its behavior is not anti-competitive – submitting

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Google has told a court in India that the country’s antitrust investigators have copied parts of a European ruling against the US company for exploiting the market dominance of its Android operating system, arguing it overturned the decision and legal papers. show.

Competition Commission of India (CCI) in Oct Google GOOGL fined Alphabet Inc $161 million to exploit its dominant position in markets such as online search and the Android app store, and asked it to change restrictions on smartphone makers related to pre-installation of apps.

Sources told Reuters in October that Google was worried On the Indian decision where the required remedies were seen as more sweeping than the European Commission’s landmark 2018 decision to impose illegal restrictions on Android mobile device makers. Google has challenged a record fine of 4.1 billion euros ($4.3 billion) in the case.

In its filing with an Indian Court of Appeal, Google claims that the CCI’s investigative unit “pasted extensively from the European Commission’s decision, publishing evidence from Europe that was not examined in India.”

“There are more than 50 cases of print runs” and in some cases “word for word,” Google said in its filing, which has not been made public but has been reviewed by Reuters. The watchdog mistakenly dismissed that case.

“The Commission failed to conduct an impartial, balanced, and legally sound investigation… Google’s mobile app distribution practices are pro-competitive rather than unfair/exclusionary.”

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

Google said in a statement that it decided to appeal CCI’s decision because it believes it “is a major setback for our Indian users and businesses.” It did not comment on the allegations of pasting copies in its filing.

Google has asked the court to overturn CCI’s order, and the case will be heard on Wednesday.

The Indian competition ruling came as Google faces increasing antitrust scrutiny around the world. Google licenses its Android platform to smartphone makers, but critics say it imposes anti-competitive restrictions.

The US company says Android has created more options for everyone and these agreements help keep the operating system free. In Europe, 75% of the 550 million smartphones run Android, compared to 97% of the 600 million devices in India, Counterpoint Research estimates.

CCI ruled in October that Google’s license to its Play Store “would not be associated with pre-installation requirements” for Google search services, the Chrome browser, YouTube, or any other Google apps.

On appeal, Google claims that the CCI only found antitrust violations related to Google’s search app, Chrome browser, and YouTube, but that its request “goes beyond” that.

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

($1 = 0.9493 euros)

(Reporting) By Aditya Kalra and Moncef Vengatil; Additional reporting by Urban Chaturvedi. Edited by Mark Potter

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