Google is planning a legal challenge to block a ruling by India’s antitrust watchdog to change its approach to its Android operating system, concerned that it will restrict how it promotes the platform, sources with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters.
The Alphabet Inc unit has been fined $275 million in two Indian antitrust decisions since last week – one for its policies of charging in-app commissions and another for abusing its position in the market for Android operating system.
The rulings come as Google faces increased antitrust scrutiny across the world. Last month, it suffered a major setback when a European court upheld a 2018 ruling saying it was largely confirming a decision that the company imposed “unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices.” Google plans to appeal the decision, where it faces a record $4.1 billion fine.
The Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) Android ruling, despite involving a smaller $162 million fine, has worried Google since it seeks wider ranging remedial measures, three sources aware of company’s thinking said.
One of the sources said that Google was concerned that the CCI’s decision could increase regulatory pressures in other jurisdictions and a legal appeal to block implementation of the antitrust directive was being planned within weeks.
Google declined to comment on its legal plans, reiterating its statement from last week that the CCI order was “a major setback for Indian consumers and businesses, opening serious security risks … and raising the cost of mobile devices for Indians.”
Abhishek Manu Singhvi, lead counsel for Google in its arguments before the CCI, tweeted on Wednesday that “inherent & patent infirmities” in the order make a challenge inevitable and likely to succeed.