Google to NCLAT: CCI ‘copy-pasted’ EU order, evidence not examined in India

Google has alleged that the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) has copy-pasted certain parts of a ruling by the European Union (EU) against the company for abusing the market dominance of its Android operating system. The Alphabet-owned company has moved to National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) seeking a stay on the Indian antitrust watchdog’s ruling.
News agency Reuters reports that in its filing, Google argues that 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 cases “word-for-word”, and the watchdog erroneously dismissed the issue, Google said. “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,” the company said.

As per a report, Google in its appeal added testimonials from some startups highlighting the concerns about the CCI order. NCLAT will hear the matter on Wednesday.
CCI’s Rs 2000-plus crore fine on Google
Last year, the CCI imposed a penalty of Rs 1,337.76 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position in the Android mobile device ecosystem saying that it found in an investigation that the company used its Android dominance to make it mandatory for OEMs to pre-install its entire Google Mobile Suite (GMS) on their phones and place them prominently. Google was also fined Rs 936 crores for abusing its monopoly through Play Store.
Google issued a statement in which it said that the company would appeal the CCI’s decision on Android “as we believe it presents a major setback for our Indian users and businesses who trust Android’s security features, and potentially raising the cost of mobile devices.”

“Android has greatly benefitted Indian users, developers, and OEMs, and powered India’s digital transformation. We look forward to making our case and remain committed to our users and partners,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.
Google said that the CCI’s decision will likely pose privacy and security risk making the Android system less safe.
“Android has created more choice for everyone and supports thousands of successful businesses in India and around the world. The CCI’s decision is a major setback for Indian consumers and businesses, opening serious security risks for Indians who trust Android’s security features, and raising the cost of mobile devices for Indians,” a spokesperson noted.

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