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 Competition Commission of India (CCI) in October fined Alphabet’s Google $161 million (roughly Rs. 1,300 crore) for exploiting its dominant place in markets reminiscent of 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 anxious concerning the Indian resolution because the treatments ordered had been seen as extra sweeping than the European Commission’s landmark 2018 ruling for imposing illegal restrictions on Android cellular machine makers. Google has challenged a document 4.1-billion-euro (roughly Rs. 35,600 crore) advantageous in that case.
In its submitting to an Indian appeals tribunal, Google argues the CCI’s investigation unit “copy-pasted extensively from a European Commission decision, deploying evidence from Europe that was not examined in India”.
“There are more than 50 instances 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 Commission failed to conduct an impartial, balanced, and legally sound investigation … Google’s mobile app distribution practices are pro-competitive and not unfair/ exclusionary.”
Spokespeople for the CCI and European Commission didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Google mentioned in an announcement it determined to enchantment the CCI’s resolution because it believes “it presents a major setback for our Indian users and businesses”. 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 shall 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 might be anti-competitive.
The US agency says Android has created extra selection for everybody and such agreements assist maintain 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 units in India, Counterpoint Research estimates.
The CCI dominated in October that Google’s licensing of its Play Store “shall not be linked with the requirement of pre-installing” Google search providers, the Chrome browser, YouTube or every other Google functions.
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 beyond” that.
Separately, Google has additionally appealed in opposition to one other Indian antitrust resolution the place it was fined $113 million (roughly Rs. 930 crore) for limiting the usage of third-party billing or cost processing providers in India. The enchantment is but to be heard.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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