Google says India regulator copied EU order

January 04, 2023
Google is facing a series of anti-trust cases in India
Google is facing a series of anti-trust cases in India

LOS ANGELES — Google has alleged that India's competition watchdog "copied" parts of an EU ruling in its order to fine the firm, Reuters has reported.

The tech giant said this in a filing to an Indian appeals tribunal, the report said.

The tribunal will hear Google's appeal against the penalty on Wednesday.

In October, the Indian regulator fined Google 13bn rupees ($157m; £131m) for using its Android platform to dominate the market.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) had accused Google of entering into "one-sided agreements" with smartphone makers to ensure the dominance of its apps.

Reuters reported that according to the filing made to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), Google said that the CCI's investigations unit deployed "evidence from Europe that was not examined in India". It has also said that there were "more than 50 instances of copy-pasting" from the European Commission's ruling.

Reuters said it had reviewed the filing, which has not been made public.

The CCI did not respond to requests for comment from Reuters. The BBC has also contacted CCI representatives for a response.

While announcing the fine on 20 October, the CCI had said that Google was "abusing" the licensing of its Android operating system for a range of smartphones, web searches, browsing and video hosting services.

It said that Google was entering into forced agreements with players in the space to ensure that its bouquet of apps - such as Google Chrome, YouTube, Google Maps and others - were used. This, the CCI said, was stifling competition and gave Google continuous access to consumer data and lucrative advertising opportunities.

Google is facing a series of anti-trust cases in India and authorities are also probing its conduct in the smart TV market and its in-app payments system.

The Android-related inquiry was started in 2019, following complaints by consumers of Android smartphones.

The case is similar to the one Google faced in Europe, where regulators in 2018 imposed a record fine on the company for using the Android platform to cement its search engine's dominance. In September last year, Google lost an appeal it had filed in court against the order.

Days after the 20 October order, the CCI imposed another fine on Google for anti-competitive practices. Google has appealed against this as well. — BBC

January 04, 2023
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