Legal filings show that Google Claims India’s antitrust agency of requiring modifications to its business model “only to protect” Amazon, which protested about Google’s restrictions on developing a modified Android system.
Google has asked India’s Supreme Court to overturn the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) October order requiring it to make 10 business model changes after the CCI found it abused its market dominance with its Android operating system, which powers 97% of India’s smartphones.
Google’s Supreme Court submission demonstrates its growing dissatisfaction with the CCI’s Android inquiry.
Google claimed in a December lower tribunal filing that CCI officers “copypasted” elements of a European verdict against the U.S. firm in a similar case. CCI denied.
The CCI’s October judgment, which fined Google $163 million, required Google to allow Android forks, modified versions of its Android operating system, to be freely distributed without license limitations like pre-installation of Google apps.
In the June 26 Supreme Court petition, Google said the CCI wrongly relied on Amazon’s claim that Google’s restrictions hampered Fire OS development.
Poor user experience killed FireOS globally. Google’s 1,004-page document, which Reuters examined, claimed that the Fire Phone was never introduced in India.
“Thus, the Commission called Amazon’s lack of attempt to compete in India a failure and attributed it to Google’s agreements.”
The CCI’s instruction was “only to protect Amazon – who complained that its attempts at creating a forked version of the Android did not work because of (Google’s) restrictions.”
Google declined to comment, citing legal processes. Amazon (AMZN.O) and the CCI did not comment on Alphabet’s court filing, which will be heard in the coming days.
South Korea penalized Google $159 million in 2021 for restricting customized Android.
Google was particularly concerned about India’s Android decision because it was far more extensive than the European Commission’s 2018 ruling against the company’s Android market abuse.
Google questioned South Korean and European orders.
The CCI determined that Google’s contractual restrictions had “reduced the ability and incentive of device manufacturers to develop and sell” Android fork devices, harming consumer interests, in its October judgement.
Amazon told Indian authorities Fire OS took “substantial resources” and thousands of employee hours to create.
Google is denying any wrongdoing in India’s Supreme Court. Reuters said that the CCI wants Google to follow all its orders.
Google Claims India’s antitrust agency only protect” Amazon after CCI’s order, Google revamped its Android business strategy in India.
According to CCI’s findings, Google should pay the penalty and abused its market position, but the U.S. company is appealing to the Supreme Court.