Google Play Store Third Party App Stores Antitrust Ruling Supreme Court CCI NCLAT Android Dominance

Supreme Court Google CCI NCLAT Antitrust Order Android Abuse India

Google has been forced to allow third-party app stores in the official Google Play Store within the coming week. This is apart from the fine that the tech giant will have to pay and has been imposed by the Supreme Court, the media has reported. The apex court last week granted one week’s time to Google India to comply with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order that directed the technology giant to deposit 10 per cent of Rs 1,337.76 crore penalty imposed on it by the competition watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) for alleged anti-competitive practices.

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This is a major setback for the Alphabet-owned Google, which says would hurt consumers and stall the growth of the Android ecosystem in India, says a report by news agency Reuters.

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Earlier last week, the SC refused to entertain the plea of Google against an order of the NCLAT refusing an interim stay on the competition regulator imposing a Rs 1,337 crore penalty on it.

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A bench, headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud comprising Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala, declined the NCLAT order. However, the top court directed the NCLAT 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, according to news agency IANS.

To recall, Google recently warned that the growth of its massively popular Android ecosystem in India will stall due to an antitrust order by the Competition Commission of India that asks it to change how it markets the Android platform. The Alphabet-owned company mentioned this in a Supreme Court challenge.

Earlier on January 4, the NCLAT had refused an interim stay on an order of the competition regulator and had asked Google to deposit 10 per cent of the amount.

The NCLAT admitted the search giant’s challenge to the CCI slapping a Rs 1,337.76 crore fine for abusing the dominant position of its Android smartphone operating system in the country.

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