SC refuses to stay CCI order imposing Rs 1,337.76 crore fine on Google

In a setback to Google, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) decision, declining to stay operation of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) order imposing Rs 1,337.76 crore fine on the tech giant.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala, declining to interfere with the NCLAT order, directed it to dispose of Google’s appeal by March 31.

The bench said any expression of opinion of this court on merits would affect the case before the NCLAT. It added that the findings by the CCI cannot be said to be without jurisdiction or with manifest error.

The Chief Justice said the compliance with the order of the CCI is extended by a further period of one week.

On January 11, the Supreme Court had agreed to examine an appeal by Google against a decision by the NCLAT, declining to stay a Rs 1,337.76 crore penalty imposed on it by the CCI for alleged anti-competitive practices.

Google moved the apex court after the setback at NCLAT, which did not stay the CCI order on abuse of dominant position in multiple markets in the Android mobile device ecosystem case.

Earlier this month, the NCLAT did not find any urgency to pass an interim order, after noting that Google filed the appeal in December last year, though the CCI passed the order in October.

It directed Google to deposit 10 per cent of the fine amount.

The tribunal had said that there was no urgency shown in the filing of the appeal, therefore Google could not be allowed to press for interim relief.

In October last year, the CCI had imposed a penalty of Rs 1,337.76 crore on the company for abusing its dominant position in multiple markets in relation to Android mobile devices.

The CCI also imposed a penalty of Rs 936.44 crore on the company for abusing its dominant position with respect to its Play Store policies.

20230119-172005

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