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CCI Denies Google Allegations That It ‘Copy-Pasted’ EU’s Antitrust Order on Android

The Competitions Commission of India on Thursday denied allegations by Google that investigators had “copy-pasted” parts of a European ruling against the US firm for abusing the market dominance of its Android platform.

“We have not cut, copy and paste,” N Venkataraman, a government lawyer representing the Competition Commission of India (CCI), told the top court.

The comments came at a hearing in India’s Supreme Court, where Google is seeking to block the CCI ruling.

Google had argued in its legal filings, seen by Reuters, that 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”, Google said. The European Commission has not responded to a request for comment on the allegation.

The CCI has fined Alphabet Inc-owned Google $161 million (roughly Rs. 1300 crore) for exploiting its dominant position in Android, which powers 97 percent of smartphones in India, and asked it to change restrictions imposed on smartphone makers related to pre-installing apps.

Google had challenged the directive saying it would hurt consumers and also its business, warning the growth of the Android ecosystem will stall if the far-reaching measures were to be implemented.

During Thursday’s hearing, Google’s counsel repeatedly pressed judges to put CCI ruling on hold, saying it is pro-competition and does not abuse its market position. The judges are yet to reach a decision.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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