A Portuguese court has ruled against Alphabet’s Google in a landmark case involving a local app.
Portuguese app store Aptoide revealed that the court has ordered Google to stop removing its app from users’ mobile phones without their knowledge.
“This court’s decision is a signal for startups worldwide,” said Paulo Trezentos, Aptoide’s chief executive, according to Reuters. “If you have reason on your side don’t fear to challenge Google.”
Aptoide’s lawyer Carlos Nestal added that it was the first case of an EU national court enforcing separation of the Android operating system and services that run on it, allowing rival apps to compete with Google.
“We believe this may apply to other situations where Google has competition,” Nestal said. A statement from Aptoide explained that the court decision is applicable in 82 countries, including the UK and India.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This is the latest legal hurdle for the tech giant. In July, the company was hit with a $5.1 billion antitrust fine from the European Union over what the EU calls an abuse of the Android operating system. The fine stems from an inquiry by antitrust regulators at the European Union into whether or not Google abused its position with the Android OS, which is on more than 80 percent of the smartphones around the globe, by favoring its own mobile apps and services including its search engine.
This month it was revealed that Google was getting set to appeal the fine. And even the President got into the fray, tweeting shortly after the fine was announced that the move shows the EU has “taken advantage of the U.S., but not for long!” The report noted that Trump views the fine as further evidence that Europe is exploiting the U.S. in trade, defense spending and regulations.