A Portuguese Court ruled Google cannot remove apps on users’ phones which had been downloaded from local Android store Aptoide, in a move that is being described as a landmark case.
“Google will have to stop…removing the competitor Aptoide’s app store from users’ phone without users’ knowledge, which has caused losses of over 2.2 million users in the last 60 day,” Aptoide said in a statement, adding the decision is applicable in 82 countries, including the UK and India.
The company said it will now demand indemnity from Google “for all the damages caused”.
Aptoide, with more than 250 million users and 6 billion downloads, complained about Google to the EU’s antitrust departments earlier this year.
Paulo Trezentos, Aptoide CEO, said: “For us, this is a decisive victory. Google has been a fierce competitor, abusing its dominant position. This court’s decision is a signal for startups worldwide: if you have the reason on your side don’t fear to challenge Google.”
The company’s solicitor, Carlos Nestal, said it was the first time an EU national court enforced the separation of the Android operating system from the services running on it, Reuters reported.
Aptoide said what sets it apart from others stores is the way in which it has reinvented the app discovery experience through an online community and tailored recommendations.
In July, the European Commission levied its largest-ever fine on Google after judging the search giant to have abused the dominant position of its Android operating system.