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Google Approaches Supreme Court After NCLAT Refuses To Stay CCI's Penalty Order

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal directed the tech giant to deposit 10 per cent of the Rs 1,337.76 crore penalty on January 4

Google Approaches Supreme Court After NCLAT Refuses To Stay CCI's Penalty Order
POSTED ON January 09, 2023 4:07 PM

Tech giant, Google, will be contesting the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order, which refused any interim relief in the case related to its alleged dominance in the Android devices market in the Supreme Court of India.

On January 4, the NCLAT directed the tech giant to deposit 10 per cent of the Rs 1,337.76 crore penalty levied by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) within three weeks.

On January 7, Google filed a plea in the Supreme Court against the tribunal’s ruling

Google seeks to put the CCI order on hold, while its appeal is heard before the Apex Court, Reuters reported.

On October 20, 2022, CCI levied two penalties on Google a Rs 1,337.76 crore penalty for anti-competitive practices in relation to Android mobile devices and a Rs 936 crore penalty over its one-sided Play Store policies last year.

The Rs 1,337.76 crore penalty was challenged by Google before NCLAT an appellate authority over the CCI, which can be approached for contesting any direction issued by the regulator.

NCLAT denied any immediate relief and said,"We are of the opinion that at the moment, considering the voluminous nature of the appeal and the fact that the date of the final hearing is fixed on April 3, 2023, there is no need to pass any interim order."

However, according to Google's plea, CCI has failed to conduct an "impartial, balanced, and legally sound investigation" while ignoring evidence from Indian users, app developers, and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

Challenging the CCI order, Google said the findings are "patently erroneous and ignore" the reality of competition in India, Google’s pro-competitive business model, and the benefits created for all stakeholders.

"The Impugned Order is fraught with substantive, analytical, and procedural errors including inter alia ignoring exculpatory evidence, statements from Indian OEMs and developers, the director general's (DG’s) copy-pasting of conclusions from decisions of foreign authorities without any application of mind. These errors led the Commission to make perverse and incorrect findings," it said.

Google claimed the DG copy-pasted extensively from a European Commission decision, deploying evidence from Europe that was not examined in India or even on the Commission's file.

"The Commission imposed a disproportionate and excessive penalty, contrary to established principles of competition law," Google said.

Meanwhile, CCI has stayed firm on its stance, claiming that the US-based tech major abused its market position to stifle innovation in the Android devices space.

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