Amidst the legal tussle between Google and India's antitrust regulator, homegrown digital maps firm MapmyIndia said that the big technology company has "perpetuated digital slavery in India" for the past 15 years. 

The statement by the company came after the Supreme Court refused to interfere with the directions passed by National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in the Android case and declined to stay the order issued by Competition Commission of India (CCI) in its October 20 ruling last year.

In a LinkedIn post, Rohan Verma, MapmyIndia’s chief executive officer, said, "It was discussed in the court how Google foreclosed rivals such as MapmyIndia due to their anti-competitive practices, harming Indian consumers ability to choose, and harming the Indian economy and rivals such as MapmyIndia. As the Supreme Court in the end declined Google’s disingenuous arguments. Today onwards, we truly hope, appeal, and call upon consumers and OEMs to try and use MapmyIndia’s Mappls app, which offer far better maps, navigation and safety features than Google Maps, but which has been hidden thus far from Indian consumers due to Google’s anti-competitive practices."

"Today marks one very critical step towards India breaking free from the digital slavery Google has perpetuated on Indians for the last 15 years, and it is the right moment for all Indians - consumers, media, app developers, OEMs, industry and government - to come together to create our own far better indigenous Aatmanirbhar ecosystem that gives India its rightful place at the forefront of the world, independent of the monopolistic Google," he added. 

The top court was hearing a plea filed by the Mountain View, California-headquartered company, seeking a stay on the ₹1,337 crore penalty levied by India's antitrust regulator. The apex court said that the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) will be hearing Google’s appeal by March 31. 

A bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud said, “We are resisting from evaluating the rival submissions... anything on merits would interfere with the proceedings before the NCLAT... CCI can not be held without jurisdiction at this stage.”

In October last year, the country’s antitrust watchdog, imposed a fine of ₹1,337.76 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position in multiple markets in the Android Mobile device ecosystem, while issuing a cease and desist order against Google from indulging in anti-competitive practices.

Google, however, said that the directions issued by India's antitrust watchdog strike a blow at the ecosystem-wide efforts to accelerate digital adoption in the country. The CCI order, according to Google, may promote unchecked proliferation of predatory apps which expose users to financial fraud, data theft and a number of other dangers abound on the internet.  

"Foundational disruptions at this stage could set us back years and undo the deep investments and effort made by OEMs, developers and the industry overall," the Alphabet-owned company said in a blog post.

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