Supreme Court shocks Google, does not ban fine of Rs 1,338 crore

Global tech company Google got a big blow from the Supreme Court on Thursday. The court refused to stay the penalty of about Rs 1338 crore imposed on the company for using anti-competitive practices. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposed this penalty on Google for misusing the dominant position in the Android ecosystem. The company appealed against this in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). NCLAT refused to grant an interim stay on this penalty. After this, Google challenged the NCLAT order in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has given the company a week’s time to deposit 10 percent of the penalty amount under the NCLAT order. A bench of Supreme Court Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala has also asked the company to approach the NCLAT within three working days seeking a decision on the company’s appeal against the CCI order. Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman, appearing for the CCI, told the Supreme Court that Google have set different standards in India and Europe. He had said that the company has complied with the similar order passed by the European Commission.

Google CCI Due to the order, the growth of Android ecosystem in the country has been warned to stop. In this order, the company was asked to change the way Android is marketed. In the petition filed in the Supreme Court, Google has told that it will have to change its existing contracts, bring new license agreements and change its existing system with more than 1,100 device manufacturers and app developers. The company says that Android mobile platforms have been around for 15 years and it will be difficult for the company to make major changes in it.

In October last year, the CCI had imposed a fine of about $161 million on Alphabet Inc, the American company that runs Google, for misusing its dominant position in the Android market. About 97 percent of smartphones in India run on Android, and this is a huge market for Google.

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