NCLAT directs Google to pay 10% of Rs 1,337 crore penalty imposed by CCI- QHN

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Wednesday directed Google to deposit 10 per cent of the total penalty of Rs 1,337.76 crore imposed by India’s antitrust body Competition Commission of India (CCI) in October, as reported by news agency PTI. The penalties were imposed over alleged violations in the Android mobile ecosystem.

CCI had also imposed non-monetary sanctions on Google for allegedly “abusing” its dominant position in several Android markets. It also directed the tech giant to “modify its conduct”.

Now, along with 10 per cent of the total amount, Google will have to take a series of measures directed by CCI. For example, pre-installation of Google applications (apps) on Android phones may not be allowed.

On Tuesday, Google said that CCI had copied parts of its ruling from an earlier European Commission ruling passed against the tech company.

“Google was worried about the Indian decision as the remedies ordered were seen as more sweeping than the European Commission’s landmark 2018 ruling for imposing unlawful restrictions on Android mobile device makers,” Reuters reported. It said that there were more than 50 instances of “copypasting”, in some cases “word-for-word” in the order.

Google also said that Android has created more choices for everyone and such agreements help keep the operating system free. In Europe, 75 per cent of 550 million smartphones run on Android, compared with 97 per cent of 600 million devices in India, Counterpoint Research estimates.

Google licenses its Android system to smartphone makers, but critics say that it imposes anti-competitive restrictions.

(With agency inputs)

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