Google claims India’s Competition Commission ‘copied’ EU order: report

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Google faces a series of antitrust cases in India

Google claimed that India’s competition regulator “copied” parts of an EU decision to fine the firm, Reuters reported.

The tech giant said so in a filing with an Indian appeals court, the report said.

The tribunal will hear Google’s appeal of the fine on Wednesday.

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

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) had accused Google of making “unilateral deals” with smartphone manufacturers to ensure the dominance of its apps.

Reuters reported that according to the filing filed with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), Google said that the CCI investigative unit “used evidence from Europe that was not examined in India.” It was also said that there were “more than 50 cases of copy-paste” from the judgment of the European Commission.

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

The CCI did not respond to Reuters requests for comment. The BBC has also reached out to CCI officials for a response.

When the fine was announced on October 20, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce said that Google was “abusing” the licensing of its Android operating system for a range of smartphones, web search, browsing and video hosting services.

It is said that Google is making enforced agreements with the players in the space to ensure that its bouquet of apps are used – such as Google Chrome, YouTube, Google Maps, and others. This, according to the CCI, stifles competition and gives Google constant access to consumer data and lucrative advertising opportunities.

Google faces a series of antitrust cases in India, and authorities are also investigating its behavior in the smart TV market and its in-app payment system.

The Android-related investigation was launched in 2019 following consumer complaints about Android smartphones.

The case is similar to the one facing Google in Europe, where regulators fined the company a record in 2018 for using the Android platform to strengthen its search engine dominance. In September last year, Google lost an appeal it had filed against the court order.

Days after the October 20 decision, the IHK imposed another fine on Google for anti-competitive practices. Google also filed an objection to this.

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