May 20, 2024

Google Calls CCI Fine Over Mobile App Distribution ‘Unfair Imposition’

4 min read


Tech giant Google on Friday submitted ahead of the NCLAT that there was “unfair imposition” by the opposition watchdog CCI around its mobile app distribution settlement with gadget makers as it does not prohibit from setting up other applications, like that of rivals.

A two-member NCLAT bench headed by Chairperson Justice Ashok Bhushan on Friday claimed it will start out working day-to-working day listening to of the issue from February 23, the following day of hearing.

Google while arguing its make any difference prior to the National Firm Legislation Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) explained that the placement of its apps on devices by means of pre-installation less than MADA (Cellular Software Distribution Settlement) is not “unfair” as there is no restriction from putting in other apps and adequate space is available for them.

The appellate tribunal was hearing a plea submitted by Google towards Rs. 1,337 crore penalty imposed by the fair trade regulator CCI for abusing its dominant position in relation to Android cellular units.

Beneath MADA, OEMs (original gear manufacturers) are essential to have Google Cellular Suite (GMS) even though installing the Android OS of Google. This can’t be uninstalled.

Senior Advocate Arun Kathpalia, symbolizing the global IT major said its apps, which are basically pre-put in “does not translate into dominance”.

There is no embargo on pre-installation on other apps and Android consumers can down load apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter from its Play Retail store as for every their decision. In 2021, 26 billion downloads of apps have been recorded.

Moreover, contrary to this, OEMs are also happy with GMS as they stated these applications make their goods extra sellable, Kathpalia added.

“Where is the harm to the OEM and people in this?,” he stated including CCI’s purchase demonstrates “unfairness”.

It is not charging any royalty and is guaranteeing a balanced ecosystem, said Kathpalia. He even further explained Google does not has a closed system like Apple.

“There is huge levels of competition within the Android ecosystem,” he included.

On October 20 very last year, CCI slapped a penalty of Rs. 1,337.76 crore on Google for anti-competitive methods in relation to Android mobile gadgets. In the Oct ruling, CCI had also purchased the world wide web big to cease and desist from different unfair enterprise methods.

NCLAT, an appellate authority around the orders passed by CCI, had started its listening to in the Android make a difference on February 15, following a path of the Supreme Court docket. The apex court docket had directed NCLAT to come to a decision the attraction by March 31.

Before, a individual bench of NCLAT had on January 4 issued notice in excess of Google’s plea, directing it to spend 10 p.c of the Rs. 1,337 crore penalty imposed by the CCI. It had declined to keep the CCI get and place the issue for a final hearing on April 3, 2023.

This was challenged by Google in advance of the Supreme Court, which also declined to continue to be the CCI purchase but directed the NCLAT to make a decision on Google’s enchantment by March 31. 


Affiliate links may possibly be quickly generated – see our ethics statement for specifics.


Supply url Google Inc has protested a fine of Rs 136 crore imposed last month by India’s competition regulator, Competition Commission of India (CCI), for unfairly skewing the market for mobile apps.

In response to the CCI order, Google released a statement indicating that the competition regulator had come to a “deeply troubling” conclusion and that the imposed fine was an “unfair imposition” of penalties. The firm also suggested the fact that the penalty was imposed without any evidence of harm or misuse of market power.

The CCI order pointed out certain anti-competitive practices indulged in by Google, which helped it establish a strong foothold in the Indian mobile app market. This includes dominating the market by requiring device manufacturers to pre-install Google’s app store on their phones, preventing device makers from using competing app stores, and restricting them from giving users a choice when it comes to choosing their preferred app store.

The CCI ruling stated that such practice was in violation of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002 which pertains to abuse of dominant position. In response to the order, Google pointed out that it had implemented various measures to ensure a level playing field for all players, such as allowing device manufacturers to choose between multiple competing app stores, while also giving consumers the ability to easily download other app stores, if they so desired. The firm also pointed out that it had carried out the practices in question in good faith, in the interest of delivering its users with a good experience.

Google has suggested that the CCI order was based on “fundamental errors in their analysis” and that the order does not recognize the competitive realities that exist in the app market. The firm, however, has said that it is committed to following principles of fair competition, regardless of the order.

Despite Google’s protests, the CCI order to pay the imposed fine will remain in effect. The competition watchdog has declared that this order is a result of extensive investigations conducted by the regulator for more than two years.

The implications of this order have extended to other industries as well, as it is now apparent that any company found to be engaging in anti-competitive practices can be slapped with a hefty fine. Companies across the world are now paying more attention to ensure their practices don’t fall foul to authorities and may result in significant repercussions.