Published: 16:46, January 4, 2023 | Updated: 18:25, January 4, 2023
Blow for Google in India as Android antitrust ruling upheld
By Xinhua

The Google logo is pictured on the side of the Google India office building in Hyderabad on March 23, 2018. (NOAH SEELAM / AFP)

NEW DELHI – An Indian tribunal on Wednesday declined a request by Google to block an antitrust ruling that ordered the tech giant to change its approach to its Android platform, dealing the US firm a setback in a key growth market.

In October, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined Alphabet Inc's Google $161 million for exploiting its dominant position in markets such as online search and the Android app store, and asked it to change curbs on smartphone makers related to pre-installing apps.

The two-member tribunal panel declined to pass an interim order citing the voluminous nature of the appeal

During the hearing, Google's counsel, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, repeatedly pushed for putting the decision on hold, or extending the date of implementation of CCI's directives beyond Jan 19. He said the CCI's decision will force the company to change its business model and harm consumer interest.

ALSO READ: Google launches in India anti-misinformation campaign

The tribunal did not agree. "We are of opinion that at the moment given the voluminous nature of the appeal, there is no need to pass any interim order," the two-member tribunal panel said.

Google told the tribunal in a legal filing that CCI's investigation unit copied parts of a European ruling against the US firm from a similar verdict on abuse of market dominance of its Android operating system, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The CCI investigators "copy-pasted extensively from a European Commission decision, deploying evidence from Europe that was not examined in India", Google alleged.

The CCI has not responded yet to those allegations.