Google failed to get relief from Supreme Court over Rs 1,338 crore fine

US tech company Google did not get relief from the Supreme Court on Monday from a fine of around Rs 1,338 crore imposed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on the company for using anti-competitive methods with respect to Android. Google appealed against this penalty in the National Company Law Appeals Tribunal (NCLAT). NCLAT refused to grant a temporary stay of this order against the company. Following this, Google challenged the NCLAT order in the Supreme Court.

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala asked Senior Counsel AM Singhvi, who appeared on behalf of Google, to clarify on Wednesday whether the rules applicable in Europe can be implemented in India as well or not. The next hearing on the matter will be held on Wednesday. Singhvi had earlier demanded an early hearing on the matter. He said that the ICC has given extraordinary instructions and the ICC order must be carried out before January 19.

Google has warned to curb the growth of the Android ecosystem in the country due to the CCI order. In this order, the company was asked to change the way Android is marketed. In the petition filed in the Supreme Court, Google said it will have to change its existing contracts, bring in new license agreements, and change its current system with more than 1,100 device manufacturers and app developers. The company says that Android mobile platforms have been around for 15 years and it will be difficult for the company to make major changes to it.

In October last year, the ICC imposed a fine of about $161 million on Alphabet Inc, the US company that runs Google, for abusing its dominant position in the Android market. About 97 percent of smartphones in India run on Android, and this is a huge market for Google. NCLAT has ordered Google to pay 10 percent of the fine.

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