Google Inc has withdrawn its appeal in the Supreme Court against NCLAT’s (National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s) order that rejected the company’s plea against the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) penalty of ₹936 crore in the anti-competitive case.
On Monday, a bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud dismissed Google’s appeal without any arguments. Prior to this, the search engine giant had already filed an application for withdrawing its appeal against NCLAT.
The Competition Commission of India had imposed a fine on Google for unfair business practices in the Android ecosystem and Play Store in October last year. The CCI had slapped two penalties worth ₹1,337.76 crore and ₹936.44 crore, respectively, following an investigation, against the US-based tech giant for anti-competitive practices in its Play Store policies as well as the Android mobile ecosystem. In its October order, the competition regulator also prescribed eight corrective measures the company needed to apply in its play store for fair competition practices.
The CCI, in its investigation, has accused Google of perpetuating and leveraging its dominant position in the online search and app store market, resulting in a denial of market access for competing search apps and protecting its position in online general search. The CCI said it examined various Google practices regarding licensing of its Android mobile operating system and proprietary mobile apps like Play Store, Google Search, Google Chrome, and YouTube, among others.
The competition regulator stated that it found "glaring inconsistencies and wide disclaimers" in revenue data points presented by Google. "In the interest of justice and with an intent of ensuring necessary market correction at the earliest, the CCI quantified the provisional monetary penalties on the basis of the data presented by Google. Accordingly, the CCI imposed a penalty at 7% of its average relevant turnover amounting to ₹936.44 crore upon Google on a provisional basis, for violating Section 4 of the Act."
Following this, Google, who has repeatedly denied claims made in CCI’s investigations said the CCI's order against it was a "setback" for Indian users and businesses, and that it will seek a stay on the order. In December last year, the company filed an appeal in NCLAT against CCI’s order, however CCI rejected the company’s plea. It later approached the apex court regarding the matter.
Last month, the social media giant suffered a major setback after NCLAT rejected the company's plea against the CCI's penalty of ₹1,337 crore for anti-competitive activity. The NCLAT asked the tech giant to pay the amount of ₹1,337 crore in 30 days.