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NCLAT to Google: Company showed ‘lack of urgency’ in appealing against CCI fine

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has asked Google India to deposit 10% of the Rs 1,337 crore penalty that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposed on the company for abusing its dominant position in the Android mobile device ecosystem. The tribunal, for now, refused to stay the penalty imposed by the antitrust regulator.
As per a report in The Economic Times, the Tribunal also said that while the order imposing the penalty was passed by the competition regulator on October 20, Google filed an appeal against the order on December 20, indicating the “lack of urgency” on the part of the company.
Next hearing in February
The NCLAT will now hear Google’s appeal against the Rs 1,337 crore penalty on February 13. The final hearing on other aspects of the CCI order is scheduled for April 3.

CCI’s Rs 2,273 crore fine on Google
Last year, the CCI imposed a total penalty of Rs 2,273 crore on Google in two different orders. While the Rs 1,337.76 crore penalty was imposed for abusing its dominant position in the Android mobile device ecosystem. CCI said that it found in a probe that Google used its Android dominance to make it mandatory for OEMs to pre-install its entire Google Mobile Suite (GMS) on their phones and place them prominently.
In its second order, CCI imposed a fine of Rs 936 crores saying that for abusing its monopoly through Play Store.
Google to NCLAT: CCI ‘copy-pasted’ EU order
In its defence, Google reportedly said that the CCI’s investigation unit “copy-pasted extensively from a European Commission decision, deploying evidence from Europe that was not examined in India”.

“There are more than 50 instances of copypasting”, in some cases “word-for-word”, and the watchdog erroneously dismissed the issue, Google said in its filing. “The Commission failed to conduct an impartial, balanced, and legally sound investigation … Google’s mobile app distribution practices are pro-competitive and not unfair/ exclusionary,” the company added.
To support its argument, Google also added testimonials from some startups highlighting the concerns about the CCI order. In a previous statement, Google had said that the CCI’s decision on Android “presents a major setback for our Indian users and businesses who trust Android’s security features, and potentially raising the cost of mobile devices.”

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