The Supreme Court has postponed the hearing of Google’s appeal against the Rs 1,337.76 crore penalty for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the Android mobile devices market until January 2024.
The hearing was originally scheduled for this week but has been delayed due to pending constitution-bench hearings. Google moved to the Supreme Court earlier this year after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) partially upheld the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) decision to impose the penalty.
A bench consisting of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra has assured that the case will be heard in the last week of January next year.
The NCLAT had held four of the ten directions issued by the CCI against Google as unsustainable. In its decision, the NCLAT agreed with the CCI on six aspects, including the unfairness of Google’s precondition for smartphone makers to pre-install its suite of 11 applications. The NCLAT also agreed with the CCI that manufacturers should be able to develop Android-based smart devices without including Google’s proprietary apps.
However, the NCLAT set aside the CCI’s direction for Google to provide access to its play services Application Programming Interface (APIs) to OEMs, app developers and competitors. In a separate case, Google was fined Rs 936 crore by the CCI last year for its Play Store policies. The company had challenged the penalty in the Supreme Court but later withdrew the case. The NCLAT is expected to start hearing Google’s appeal against the CCI’s penalty order in November.
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