Google refuses to pay fine in India even though it paid fine in same case in Europe: CCI's lawyer - Business Today

Google refuses to pay fine in India even though it paid fine in same case in Europe: CCI's lawyer - Business Today

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At Supreme Court, CCI's lawyer claimed Google is refusing to pay fine imposed by Competition Commission of India even though it has paid fine in European court in the same matter of alleged abuse of its dominant position in the Android mobile device ecosystem.

On Monday, CCI's counsel Mukul Rohatgi said, "Their (Google) grievance that they cannot pay the fine is false as they have in 2017 paid over 4 billion euros in EU case. The EU court has also considered them as abusing dominant position. Here in India because it's a third world country they are not paying."

Chief Justice of India asked Google if it will be willing to put in place the same steps as it did in European Union. The matter will next be heard on Wednesday.

Last week, Google said that CCI's order will change how the company markets its Android platform and will drive up costs for app developers, equipment makers, and consequently, consumers. Android powers 97% of India's smartphones.

NCLAT had, on January 4, declined to stay the order passed by the CCI, after observing that the order was passed on October 20, 2022, but the appeal against it was filed on December 20, 2022.

The tech major also alleged that NCLAT acted ''unlawfully'' in conditioning the admission of Google's appeal upon it depositing 10 per cent of the penalty amount.

In October last year, CCI slapped a penalty of around Rs 2,200 crore on Google for anti-competitive practices. It had slapped a Rs 1,337.76-crore fine on Google for exploiting its dominant position with respect to Android, which powers 97 per cent of smartphones in India. It imposed another Rs 936-crore penalty on the US tech giant in a case related to its Play Store policies.

While in the first case, CCI asked Google to allow smartphone users on the Android platform to uninstall apps and let them select a search engine of their choice, the regulator had asked the company to take corrective steps on policies that forced developers to use Google Play's billing system to list their apps on its Play Store.

Currently, one cannot delete apps such as Google Maps or YouTube from their Android phones when they come pre-installed.