Supreme Court to hear in Jan 2024 Google appeal against ₹1,337 crore CCI penalty for abuse of dominance in Android market

In March this year, the NCLAT upheld the CCI's penalty, which has been challenged by Google before the Supreme Court in an appeal.
Google and Supreme Court
Google and Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India will start hearing in January 2024 the appeal filed by Google challenging a penalty of ₹1337.76 crores for allegedly abusing its dominant position in multiple markets concerning Android mobile devices.

The appeal was filed after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order upheld a decision of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on the issue.

A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra today assured that they will hear the case in the last week of January 2024.

"I will ensure that no other cases are listed then, so that the matter is over in a couple of days," CJI Chandrachud said.

The NCLAT in January had directed Google to deposit 10 percent of the ₹1337.76 crore fine amount imposed on it by the CCI before hearing the tech giant's plea for relief against the CCI order. In March the NCLAT proceeded to uphold the CCI's penalty on Google. However, in a major relief for the tech giant, the NCLAT set aside four key directions issued by the CCI.

The CCI had imposed the penalty in October last year. In addition to the penalty, the CCI had also directed Google to cease and desist from participating in anti-competitive practices and directed it to modify its conduct within a defined timeline.

"The Commission has imposed monetary penalty as well as issued cease and desist order against Google from indulging in anti-competitive practices that have been found to be in contravention of the provisions of Section 4 of the Act," a press release issued by the CCI read.

Previously, the Supreme Court had refused to grant interim relief to Google, when the matter was still pending before the NCLAT.

"We resist from entering into merits, since matter is pending in appeal by NCLAT. Findings arrived by CCI cannot be held to be without jurisdiction or manifest error at interlocutory stage. While we are not interfering with order of NCLAT, we request the tribunal to dispose off the appeal by March 31, 2023," the top court said.

Thereafter, the NCLAT upheld the CCI's penalty, prompting Google to challenge the same in its appeal before the Supreme Court.

Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news