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Business News/ Companies / News/  Supreme Court to hear Google's plea on 16 January against CCI penalty

Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear on 16 January an appeal of tech giant Google against a ruling of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), which refused to stay a 1,337.76 crores penalty imposed on it by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for alleged anti-competitive practices.

A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha took note of the submissions of senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for the US firm, and said that it will list the plea for hearing on Monday.

The senior lawyer said that extraordinary directions have been passed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the order has to be complied by January 19.

“There is no finding of abuse of dominance," he said.

Earlier last week, NCLAT had declined to stay the order passed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), after observing that the order was passed on October 20, 2022 but the appeal against it was filed on December 20, 2022.

The NCLAT had also directed Google to deposit 10 per cent of the penalty amount within three weeks.

"Be that as it may, once order was passed in the month of October, had there been any such urgency it was expected that the appellant would have approached this tribunal forthwith. However, in this case no such urgency was shown in filing of the appeal and as such the appellant may not be permitted to insist for interim order, that too once we are giving short date for final hearing of the appeal," it said.

On October 20 last year, CCI slapped a penalty of 1,337.76 crore on Google for anti-competitive practices in relation to Android mobile devices. In the October ruling, CCI had also ordered the internet major to cease and desist from various unfair business practices.

This was challenged by Google before NCLAT, which is an appellate authority over the CCI against any direction issued by the regulator.

However, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) denied any immediate relief and said: "We are of the opinion that at the moment, considering the voluminous nature of the appeal and the fact that date of final hearing is fixed on April 3, 2023 there is no need to pass any interim order."

In its petition before NCLAT, Google has termed as "tainted" the investigations done against it by CCI, contending that the two informants on whose complaint the fair trade regulator has initiated the enquiry were working at the same office that was investigating the tech major.

*With inputs from agencies

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Updated: 11 Jan 2023, 11:20 AM IST
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