According to Google, the tribunal failed to look into various aspects of the CCI's ruling, especially those pertaining to proving harm related to anti-competitive behaviour
In March, NCLAT partially upheld CCI's directives and found Google guilty of abusing its dominance in the Android ecosystem
At the centre of the row is the INR 1,338 Cr penalty imposed by the CCI on Google in October last year for abusing its market dominance
In another major development in the Google antitrust case, the tech major has now filed an appeal in the Supreme Court (SC) challenging the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s (NCLAT) ruling that upheld the INR 1,338 Cr penalty against the company.
In a statement, the company said that the tribunal failed to look into various aspects of the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI’s) ruling, especially those pertaining to proving harm related to anti-competitive behaviour.
“… we filed an appeal in the Supreme Court regarding the NCLAT’s decision in the Android case. The NCLAT correctly found that harm for anti-competitive behaviour needs to be proven, but did not apply this requirement to several of the CCI’s directions that it upheld. We look forward to presenting our case before the Supreme Court and demonstrating how Android has benefitted Indian users, developers, and OEMs, and powered India’s digital transformation,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement sent to Moneycontrol.
This comes a couple of months after NCLAT, in March, partially upheld CCI’s directives and found Google guilty of abusing its dominance in the Android ecosystem and backed the INR 1,338 Cr penalty imposed by the competition watchdog last year.
It is pertinent to note that the CCI has also challenged the NCLAT’s order at the Apex Court
While noting that CCI’s order did not suffer from confirmation bias, NCLAT had ruled that Google imposed unfair conditions on original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) while asking the letter to pre-install the tech giant’s suite of mobile apps. The NCLAT also flagged concerns around Google’s Anti Fragmentation Agreement (AFA), which as per the tribunal, reduced incentive of the OEMs to develop their own version of Android operating system (OS).
At the centre of the row is the INR 1,338 Cr penalty imposed by the CCI on Google in October last year for abusing its market dominance. Not just this, the competition watchdog also directed the tech major to undertake sweeping changes to its India operations.
Subsequently, the two sides have fought pitched battles in multiple courts and have even appealed several rulings, which have largely favoured the CCI.
The ruling comes days after Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter’s US trip. Even as Google continues to be mired in regulatory challenges in the country, Pichai, right after the meeting, said that the tech major would set up its global fintech operation centre at the GIFT City in Gujarat.
Despite the hiccups, India continues to be an attractive opportunity for the company. As per government estimates, the homegrown digital economy is slated to grow to a size of $1 Tn by 2025.