NCLAT rejects Google's plea seeking interim stay against CCI order
In a blow for Google, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has refused to stay the Competition Commission of India's (CCI) order against the tech giant. On October 20, 2022, the competition watchdog directed Google to pay Rs. 1,336.7 crore for abusing its position in the Android market. The tribunal, however, agreed to hear Google's appeal against the CCI order.
Why does this story matter?
- Google's first attempt at reversing the CCI order that can potentially alter the Android ecosystem has failed. Considering the casualness with which the company addressed this issue, that's not surprising.
- With the last day to comply with the order fast approaching, Google's actions in the next few days will be closely watched.
- It will also have implications for Google's operation in other countries.
The tribunal ordered Google to deposit 10% of penalty
Google approached NCLAT to pass an interim stay against the penalty and other non-monetary sanctions imposed by the CCI. However, the bench comprising Justice Rakesh Kumar, member (judicial) and Alok Srivastava, member (technical) denied the company's request. The bench also directed the company to deposit 10% of the penalty. The next hearing on the matter will be held on April 3.
CCI prohibited Google from forcing OEMs to pre-install its apps
The CCI order, apart from imposing the hefty monetary penalty, also asked Google to cease and desist from unfair business practices. The competition watchdog directed Google to not force original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to pre-install its own suite of apps or prevent users from uninstalling such apps. Google was also prohibited from offering incentives to OEMs to promote its search services.
Google may have to move Supreme Court
The CCI had given Google three months to comply with the order. That deadline is on January 19. With only two weeks left before the deadline, Google may have to move the Supreme Court for an interim stay. The stipulated time to appeal a CCI order is 60 days. Google approached NCLAT on the last day of that period.