The Supreme Court on Monday asked tech giant Google whether it would implement the same regime in India for pre-installing apps on Android-based phones as in Europe. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala announced the matter for a hearing on January 18.
The Supreme Court investigation came after India’s Solicitor General N Venkataraman, who appeared on behalf of the CCI, told the Supreme Court that Google applies different standards in Europe and India and that the search engine company complied with a similar order passed by the European Commission.
ASG told the bench, “We’re going to show some shocking figures. Their dissatisfaction with not being able to comply within 90 days is unfounded as they fully complied with the order passed by the EU in 2016. They paid in full 4 billion euros. All these directives have been fully complied with in Europe over the past five years. A permanent committee is now looking into the issue. This will now be part of digital law. The EU already considers them dominant. We are third World countries.”
ASG asked how they differentiate Indian consumers from European consumers.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi, a senior advocate representing Google India, refuted the CCI’s claims and said that the CCI had distorted the facts and that European compliance was related to the MADA spin-off.
CJI then released the matter on Wednesday, asking Singhvi, “Will Google implement the same system in India as in Europe? Please reflect and come back.”
The Supreme Court is hearing Google India’s appeal against a National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) ruling that declined to retain the Rs 13,377.6 crore fine imposed on the tech giant by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for antitrust concerns. – Competition practice.
After a setback at NCLAT, Google turned to the Supreme Court for refusing to stay a CCI order for abusing multiple market dominance in the Android mobile device ecosystem case.
Google challenged NCLAT’s Jan. 4 order refusing to stay CCI’s order on the grounds that CCI’s order was passed in October 2022 and Google’s appeal was only filed in December 2022, so no interim grounds for relief.
The court said Google could not be allowed to insist on interim relief because it failed to demonstrate urgency when it filed the appeal.
NCLAT also directed Google to deposit 10% in rupees. The fine amount within three weeks was 13.3776 million.
In October 2022, the CCI imposed penalties on Google for abusing its dominant position in multiple markets in the Android mobile device ecosystem and directed Google to cease and desist from engaging in anti-competitive behavior.
Google challenged the CCI order in the NCLAT, the CCI’s appellate body that opposes any directions issued by the regulator.