CCI’s Google order will bring ‘cataclysmic change’: Indian internet firms hopeful as SC backs antitrust ruling

CCI’s Google order will bring ‘cataclysmic change’: Indian internet firms hopeful as SC backs antitrust ruling

CCI's Google order will bring 'cataclysmic change': Indian internet firms hopeful as SC backs antitrust ruling

Indian internet companies have expressed optimism that their apps may find free space on Android devices as Google failed to seek relief in the Supreme Court on an NCLAT and ICC order against the Internet giant.

In a setback for Google, the Supreme Court has upheld the order of the National Company Law Appeal Tribunal (NCLAT) refusing to grant an interim stay of the imposition of a fine of Rs. 1,337 crore on the US giant technology by the competition regulator for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the Android mobile device ecosystem.

The high court said that at the interlocutory stage, it would suffice to say that the Indian Competition Commission’s (ICC) findings against Google were neither lacking jurisdiction nor suffering from manifest error justifying its interference.

A bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud has given the US company a week to file 10% of Rs. 1,337 crore fine imposed on it by the ICC.

Local navigation company MapMyIndia, which has also filed a plea in the supreme court to include it in the case, said it was discussed in court how Google had excluded rivals such as MapmyIndia due to of their anti-competitive practices, harming Indian consumers. ‘ ability to choose, and hurt the Indian economy and its rivals such as MapmyIndia.

“While the Supreme Court ultimately rejected Google’s fallacious arguments. Today marks a very critical step towards freeing India from the digital slavery that Google has perpetuated on Indians for the past 15 years, and this is the right time for all Indians – consumers, media, app developers, OEMs, industry and government – ​​to come together to create our own indigenous ecosystem Aatmanirbhar,” said CEO and Director MapMyIndia executive Rohan Verma in a statement.

The CCI had asked Google on October 20 to allow users of smartphones on the Android platform to uninstall applications and let them select a search engine of their choice.

This order was to come into effect on January 19.

On October 20 last year, the ICC, in addition to imposing a heavy penalty on Google, also ordered the major internet company to cease and desist from various unfair business practices.

The regulator, who passed the order after leading a detailed investigation more than three years ago, also asked Google to change its conduct within a set time frame.

The CCI, which began investigating the case in April 2019, ordered that original equipment manufacturers should not be prevented from choosing which first-party Google apps to pre-install, nor should they be forced to pre-install. a bunch of apps on their smart devices.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, Competition Law Practice, Partner, Naval Chopra, said the SC decision is a landmark decision in the history of competition law jurisprudence in India and globally.

“The ICC’s reasoning was reviewed by the Supreme Court which ruled that there was no reason to interfere with the ICC’s order at the interim stage. The ICC’s broad remedies go beyond Europe and force Google to change the way it does business. This will open up markets for Google’s competitors, who have long been marginalized by the tech giant’s grip on the Android ecosystem,” he said. declared.

Indus OS Co-Founder and CEO, Rakesh Deshmukh, said SC’s move will usher in a cataclysmic shift in India’s smartphone ecosystem and further improve and boost digital penetration in our country.

“We are happy that millions of Indian users now have a choice to experience our app store, without any restrictions. Indus OS has been working on its app store for over a decade now, which is tailor-made to meet the preferences of Indian consumers,” Deshmukh said.

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