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Google says India copied the European Commission’s decision

Google reportedly said in a filing to an Indian appellate court that the $160 million antitrust fine previously imposed on Google by India’s Competition Commission (CCI) largely copied the European Commission’s decision, and that the CCI’s ruling should be reversed.

Last October, India’s CCI announced that it had fined Google 13.38 billion rupees (about $161.95 million) for anti-competitive behavior related to Android mobile devices. In addition, the CCI also asked Google not to offer any incentives to smartphone makers to exclusively pre-install Google’s search services.

In response, Google said late last month that it would appeal the Indian CCI’s ruling. Now, Google says in its appeal filing that the CCI’s investigative arm heavily replicated the European Commission’s decision, using evidence from Europe that was not corroborated in India.

In its appeal filing, Google said, “There were more than 50 instances of plagiarism, in some cases verbatim, before and after. As a result, the CCI in India failed to conduct a fair, balanced and reasonable investigation. In fact, Google’s mobile App distribution practices are pro-competitive, not unfair and exclusionary.”

Back in 2018, the EU imposed a €4.3 billion ($4.5 billion) antitrust fine on Google. The reason was that Google, by virtue of its dominant position in the Internet search market, had imposed a number of illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile operators. Last December, Google appealed the decision to the European Supreme Court.

In a statement, Google said it appealed the CCI ruling because it had caused major setbacks for Google’s Indian users and businesses. Google is asking the court to set aside the CCI’s decision to impose a fine, and the case is set to go to trial on Wednesday.

In addition, Google has appealed another antitrust fine from the CCI in India. Following the Android antitrust fine, the Indian CCI also imposed an additional antitrust fine of 9.36 billion rupees (about $113 million) on Google last October for abusing its dominant position in the app store market to promote its own payment system. The appeal is currently pending.

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