NCLAT upheld the Penalty of Rs 1,337.76 Crore imposed on Google by the CCI

Team SoOLEGAL 31 Mar 2023 11:26am

NCLAT upheld the Penalty of Rs 1,337.76 Crore imposed on Google by the CCI

New Delhi: On March 20,2023 the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) reserved its decision in the Google case. The Appellate Tribunal had previously refused to grant Google any interim relief. The case was then heard by the Supreme Court, which also denied Google any sort of relief. However, the Supreme Court ordered the NCLAT to pass final order in the case by March 31,2023.In the impugned order, in addition to the penalty of Rs 1,337.76 crore, Competition Commission of India (CCI) ordered Google to cease and desist from engaging in anti-competitive practices and to modify its behavior within a specified time frame. So a speedy delivery of the judgement was required in the instant case.

So accordingly, NCLAT upheld the CCI’s order imposing Rs 1,337.76 crore penalty on Google for abusing its dominant position in the Android market on Wednesday.

However, in a major relief for the tech giant, the NCLAT Bench of NCLAT Chairperson Justice Ashok Bhushan and Dr. Alok Srivastava, Member (Technical), set aside four key directions issued by the CCI in its impugned order. They are summarized as follows:

·    Google shall not deny access to its play services Application Programming Interface (APIs)in order to disadvantage Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), app developers, and existing or its potential existing competitors.

·       Users' ability to uninstall Google's pre-installed apps shall not be restricted.

·       Google will allow app store developers to distribute their apps via Google Play Store.

·   Google will notrestrict the ability of app developers in any way to distribute their apps through side-loading.

In furtherance to this, the NCLAT did not found the investigation conducted by the CCI into Google's conduct not in violation to the principles of natural justice, and also held that the pre-installation of entire Google Mobile Services (GMS) on Android phones does amount to unfair use.

Tagged: NCLAT  
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