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Google wants an Indian court's antitrust ruling dismissed because it copy-pasted an EU decision

Accusations of plagiarism come as Google faces increased scrutiny from regulators around the world

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Google sign and android logo pictured outside Google headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Google’s antitrust woes mainly stem from its Android mobile operating system, which is used by more than 70% of smartphone users worldwide.
Image: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Google has asked an appeals court in India to throw out an October antitrust ruling by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), accusing regulators of plagiarizing language from a similar ruling in Europe. The American internet giant cited more than 50 instances of language copied verbatim. Google also objected to the inclusion of evidence from the European case that was never introduced in Indian courts.

The decision included a $161 million fine for manipulating search results on the app store of Google’s Android operating system and ordered new restrictions on pre-installing Google-owned apps on Android smartphones.

We have decided to 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,” Gauri Juneja, a Google India communications officer said in an email.

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Google licenses its Android operating system to smartphone producers at a relatively low cost, but critics say that the company uses that market dominance to impose unfair restrictions. Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world, with a 71% market share of global smartphone users.

Google is also in the process of appealing a separate ruling by the CCI that found the company restricted app developers from utilizing third-party billing systems in the Android operating system, forcing them to use the Google-owned in-app payment system.

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Google’s market dominance in India, by the numbers: 

94%: Percentage of search traffic in India originating from Google, the highest percentage of any country in the world.

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837 million: The number of internet users in India, the second-highest in the world after China.

96%: The percentage of Indians using Google’s Android operating system on their smartphones. Only 3.1% use Apple iOS, Android’s main competition.

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Key dates in Alphabet’s game of Monopoly:

November 2008: Google and Yahoo abandon an advertising agreement after the US Justice Department (DOJ) threatens to investigate the companies for dominating online ad sales.

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November 2010: The European Commission opens an initial investigation into allegations that Google has manipulated search results as it dominates early search engine ad sales.

January 2013: DOJ abandons multi-year investigation into Google’s market dominance after the internet company agrees to a number of advertising reforms.

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November 2014: The European Parliament overwhelmingly passes a symbolic resolution calling for the breakup of Google and other major search engines.

September 2015: The CCI first accuses Google of abusing its dominant position in search results to prioritize its advertisements.

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August 2016: Russian antitrust officials fine Google $6.8 million after ruling that Google’s Android operating system had abused its market position to prioritize Google products.

June 2017: The European Commission fines Google $2.7 billion for anti-competitive practices in the company’s online shopping service.

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July 2018: The European Union fines Google $5 billion for prioritizing its search engine on smartphones running the Android operating system.

September 2020: China announces an antitrust investigation into Android’s market dominance of mobile operating systems

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October 2022: The CCI fines Google more than $200 million in a series of antitrust rulings on the dominance of the Android app store.

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This story was updated with comment from Google India received after publication.