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Google Claims CCI Copied Parts of EU Ruling Against Firm on Android Abuse

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Google has informed a tribunal in India that the nation’s antitrust investigators copied components of a European ruling in opposition to the US agency for abusing the market dominance of its Android working system, arguing the choice be quashed, authorized papers present.

The Competitors Fee of India (CCI) in October fined Alphabet’s Google $161 million (roughly Rs. 1,300 crore) for exploiting its dominant place in markets resembling on-line search and the Android app retailer, and requested it to vary restrictions imposed on smartphone makers associated to pre-installing apps.

Sources informed Reuters in October that Google was apprehensive in regards to the Indian choice because the treatments ordered had been seen as extra sweeping than the European Fee’s landmark 2018 ruling for imposing illegal restrictions on Android cellular machine makers. Google has challenged a file 4.1-billion-euro (roughly Rs. 35,600 crore) wonderful in that case.

In its submitting to an Indian appeals tribunal, Google argues the CCI’s investigation unit “copy-pasted extensively from a European Fee choice, deploying proof from Europe that was not examined in India”.

“There are greater than 50 cases of copypasting”, in some instances “word-for-word”, and the watchdog erroneously dismissed the difficulty, Google mentioned in its submitting which isn’t public however has been reviewed by Reuters.

“The Fee didn’t conduct an neutral, balanced, and legally sound investigation … Google’s cellular app distribution practices are pro-competitive and never unfair/ exclusionary.”

Spokespeople for the CCI and European Fee didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Google mentioned in an announcement it determined to enchantment the CCI’s choice because it believes “it presents a significant setback for our Indian customers and companies”. It didn’t touch upon the copy-pasting allegations in its submitting.

Google has requested the tribunal to quash the CCI’s order, and the case might be heard on Wednesday.

The Indian competitors ruling got here as Google faces elevated antitrust scrutiny the world over. Google licenses its Android system to smartphone makers, however critics say it imposes restrictions which are anti-competitive.

The US agency says Android has created extra selection for everybody and such agreements assist preserve the working system free. In Europe, 75 p.c of 550 million smartphones run on Android, in contrast with 97 p.c of 600 million gadgets in India, Counterpoint Analysis estimates.

The CCI dominated in October that Google’s licensing of its Play Retailer “shall not be linked with the requirement of pre-installing” Google search providers, the Chrome browser, YouTube or every other Google purposes.

In its enchantment, Google alleges the CCI solely discovered antitrust infringements associated to the Google search app, Chrome browser and YouTube, however its order “extends past” that.

Individually, Google has additionally appealed in opposition to one other Indian antitrust choice the place it was fined $113 million (roughly Rs. 930 crore) for limiting using third-party billing or fee processing providers in India. The enchantment is but to be heard.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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