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

  • India’s conflicting decisions latest setback for Google in key market
  • Google wants India’s antitrust rulings quashed
  • Google alleges Indian regulator copied parts of EU order
  • Google says its conduct is not anti-competitive – filing

NEW DELHI, Jan 3 (Reuters) – Google has told a tribunal in India that the country’s antitrust investigators copied parts of a European ruling against the US firm for abusing the market dominance of its Android operating system , Arguing that the decision has been rescinded, display legal papers.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) in October fined Alphabet Inc’s Google GOOGL.O $161 million for exploiting its dominant position in markets such as online search and the Android app store, and imposed it on smartphone makers belonging to Pre- Asked to change the restrictions imposed. installing apps.

Sources told Reuters in October that Google was concerned about the Indian decision because the measures were seen as more sweeping than the European Commission’s landmark 2018 decision to impose unlawful restrictions on Android mobile device makers. Google has challenged a record 4.1 billion euro ($4.3 billion) fine in that case.

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In its filing to an Indian appeals tribunal, Google argued the CCI’s probe unit “largely copy-pasted from the European Commission’s decision, deploying evidence from Europe that was not examined in India”.

“There are more than 50 examples of copypasting”, in some cases “word-for-word”, and the watchdog erroneously dismissed the issue, Google said in its filing that is not public but was reviewed by Reuters. Is.

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

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

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Google said in a statement that it decided to appeal against the CCI decision because it believes “it is a huge blow to our Indian users and businesses”. It did not comment on the allegations of copy-pasting in its filing.

Google has asked the tribunal to set aside the CCI order and the matter will be heard on Wednesday.

The Indian contest decision came as Google escalated the antitrust probe around the world. Google licenses its Android system to smartphone makers, but critics say it imposes restrictions that are anti-competitive.

The US firm says Android has created more choice for everyone and such agreements help keep the operating system free. Counterpoint Research estimates that in Europe, 75% of the 550 million smartphones run on Android, while in India it accounts for 97% of the 600 million devices.

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The CCI ruled in October that the licensing of Google’s own Play Store “shall not be linked to the requirement to pre-install Google search services, the Chrome browser, YouTube or any other Google application.”

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

Separately, Google has also appealed against another Indian antitrust ruling where it was fined $113 million for restricting the use of third-party billing or payment processing services in India. The appeal is yet to be heard.

($1 = 0.9493 Euro)

Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Munsif Vengatil; Additional reporting by Arpan Chaturvedi; Editing by Mark Potter

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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