Aptoide said a local court has ruled against Google, ordering it to stop removing Aptoide’s app from users’ mobile phones without their knowledge. Photo: File

INTERNATIONAL - Portuguese app store Aptoide said on Monday a local court has ruled against Alphabet Inc’s Google, ordering it to stop removing Aptoide’s app from users’ mobile phones without their knowledge in a landmark case.

“This...is the first case of an EU national court enforcing a clear separation of Android layer and the services layer,” Aptoide said in a statement, quoting its lawyer Carlos Nestal. “We believe this may apply to other situations where Google has competition.”

Aptoide, whose complaints against Google alongside several other entities have already led to European Commission charges against the U.S. giant, is also preparing a lawsuit to seek yet unspecified damages from Google, it said. Google did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Aptoide is an alternative marketplace for mobile applications which runs on the Android operating system. In Aptoide, unlike the default Google Play Store, there is not a unique and centralized store; instead, each user manages their own store.