The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal has refused to provide interim relief to Google, which sought a stay on the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) penalty on the tech giant. CCI fined Google Rs. 936.44 crores for abusing its dominant position in Play Store policies.
In October, the tech giant was slapped with two penalities amounting to Rs 2,200 crore in less than a week. CCI asked Google to cease and desist unfair business practices and to address the anti-competitive issues within a defined timeline. CCI also noted that making access to the Play Store dependent on mandatory usage of Google Play’s Billing System for paid apps and in-app purchases is one-sided and arbitrary and devoid of any legitimate business interest.
“Based on its assessment, the CCI found Google to be dominant in the markets for licensable OS for smart mobile devices & market for app stores for Android smart mobile OS, in India,” CCI had said in the second order.
The tech giant filed an appeal against the CCI order, which was heard by the NCLAT on Wednesday. A two-member Bench comprising Justice Rakesh Kumar and Alok Srivastava asked the company to deposit 10 per cent of the penalty before the registry in the next four weeks. The Bench alsi issued notices to the CCI and others.
The US tech major has since filed an appeal in the Supreme Court on the matter. The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear tech major’s plea against the NCLAT order. The search giant has asked the apex court to halt the order, saying it would cause “lasting and irreparable harm” to Google, device manufacturers, app developers, Indian consumers, and the wider economy.
The matter will now be heard on April 17.