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Google vs CCI: Google required to allow third-party app stores

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Google will have to allow third-party app stores on Play Store within a week. The progress comes after the Supreme Court of India upheld an antitrust order that asked the tech giant to open the platform for fair competition. The apex court gave Google India a week’s time to comply with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) notice that directed the tech giant to deposit 10 per cent of the Rs 1,337.76 crore penalty.

On Friday, Google said it will cooperate with CCI after the company lost its fight in Supreme Court to block the competition authority’s order. This comes as a major setback for the Alphabet-owned company, which earlier said that the watchdog’s anti-trust order would hurt consumers and stall the growth of the Android ecosystem in India.

Last week, the apex court dismissed Google’s plea against an order of the NCLAT refusing an interim stay on the competition regulator penalty. The matter was listed before the SC bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and J B Pardiwala.

Before going to the apex court, Google first approached the NCLAT, where the authority ordered the company to pay 10 percent of the Rs 1337.76 crore worth of penalty imposed by CCI as an interim measure.

CCI fined Google Rs 1337.76 crore in October for abusing its dominant position by forcefully entering “one-sided agreements” with Android mobile makers to ensure the dominance of its apps and search engine. This has denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on their merits, the CCI noted.

In the same week that month, CCI again fined Google Rs 936.44 crores for abusing its market position on Play Store to promote its payments app and in-app payment system.

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