Google accuses Indian antitrust watchdog of plagiarizing EU

Google accuses Indian antitrust watchdog of plagiarizing EU

Google is challenging a $161 million antitrust fine issued by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) based on accusations that 50 instances within the ruling were lifted from a European ruling for similar charges.

According to an appeals document filed by Google and seen by Reuters, the over 50 instances of copy pasting, sometimes word for word, delegitimizes the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) October ruling.

“The Commission failed to conduct an impartial, balanced, and legally sound investigation,” the appeal reportedly read. “Google’s mobile app distribution practices are pro-competitive and not unfair/ exclusionary.”

The appellate authority over the CCI hearing the appeal, known as the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), declined an immediate stay of the fine and ordered Google to pay 10 percent of the penalty but will hear the case on February 13, according to the Press Trust of India.

The October fine was issued against Google for exploiting its dominant position in multiple markets in the Android Mobile device ecosystem.

According to the CCI, the Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA) that required Android licensees to include Google’s apps “assured that the most prominent search entry points – i.e., search app, widget and Chrome browser – are pre-installed on Android devices, which accorded significant competitive edge to Google’s search services over its competitors.”

The regulatory org also found Google’s policies gave the company “significant competitive edge over its competitors” for its own apps such as YouTube on Android devices.

In addition to the fine, which accounted for merely a quarter of a day’s worth of Google’s $256 billion annual revenue, the Chocolate Factory was ordered to open the Android ecosystem.

Less than a week after the $161 million fine was issued, the CCI announced a new $114 million fine against the company for anticompetitive practices related to the Play store. That ruling accompanied a demand that Google open Play to third party payments. According to Reuters, that one was also under appeal but is yet to be heard. There is no word yet on whether it also included instances of plagiarism.

Google has already fought and lost the third-party payment fight in Korea.

The Register has asked Google for comment and will report if there is a substantial reply. ®

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