Google CCI Penalty: NCLAT Refuses Interim Relief, Fines Google Rs. 1,337.76 Crore Asked To Pay 10% of The Fine
January 6, 2023: New Delhi: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Wednesday agreed to hear tech giant Google’s appeal against the Competition Commission of India (CCI) order, but refused any interim relief.
The NCLAT has issued a notice to the competition watchdog and directed Google to deposit 10 percent of the penalty amount to the CCI to show bonafide.
The next hearing on the suspension of fines on the US tech giant will be held on February 13. The final hearing will be held on April 3.
On October 20 last year, India’s competition watchdog fined Google Rs. A fine of 1,337.76 crores was imposed. Google was also directed by the CCI to stop engaging in numerous unfair business practices.
Less than a week later on October 25, the anti-trust regulator imposed another penalty of Rs 936.44 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position in terms of its Play Store policies. Besides, the watchdog issued a cease and desist order.
After the second penalty was imposed, the US tech giant announced in November that it was “pausing” the implementation of its in-app billing system in India.
“Following the recent CCI ruling, we are pausing the implementation of the requirement for developers to use Google Play’s billing system for purchases of digital goods and services for transactions by users in India while we review our legal options and ensure that we continue to invest Android and Play,” Google said in a blog post.
Google also said it is committed to its users and developers and is reviewing the CCI’s decision to assess next steps.
In a statement, Google said Indian developers have benefited from the technology, security, consumer protection and unmatched choice and flexibility that Android and Google Play provide.
Google approaches NCLAT
Google had approached the appellate tribunal NCLAT on December 23 last year challenging the CCI’s order on unfair business practices in the Android mobile device ecosystem.
A Google spokesperson told PTI, “We have decided to appeal the CCI’s decision on Android as we believe it represents a major setback for our Indian users and businesses who rely on Android’s security features and potentially mobile devices. Increases the cost of devices.”
“We look forward to making our case at NCLAT and remain committed to users and partners,” the spokesperson added.
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