Tech giant Google on Friday said it has approached the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), challenging the Competition Commission of India (CCI) order on unfair business practices in Android mobile device.
The CCI in October slapped a penalty of ₹1,337.76 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position in multiple markets in relation to Android mobile devices and ordered the internet major to cease and desist from various unfair business practices.
“We have decided to appeal the CCI’s decision on Android as we believe it presents a major setback for our Indian users and businesses who trust Android’s security features, and potentially raising the cost of mobile devices,” a Google spokesperson said.
Google was fined over ₹2,200 crore in two CCI rulings less than a week apart in October. In its second ruling against Google, the CCI had slapped a penalty of ₹936.44 crore on the company for abusing its dominant position with respect to its Play Store policies.
“Android has greatly benefitted Indian users, developers, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and powered India’s digital transformation. We look forward to making our case and remain committed to our users and partners,” the spokesperson added.
According to sources, the CCI failed to appreciate strong evidence on record from OEMs, developers, and users demonstrating that the open Android business model supports competition for the benefit of all stakeholders, including in India specifically.
Sources also disagree with the CCI’s decision and therefore having carefully considered the decision and its implications, Google is taking all appropriate legal steps to defend the Android business model in India.
The tech giant was optimistic that the NCLAT will take full account of the evidence on record and the tremendous contribution that Android has made to the massive growth and prosperity of the mobile ecosystem in India. Android has created more choice for everyone, and supports thousands of successful businesses in India and around the world, the sources said.
Several sources said the CCI claims to have acted in the interest of OEMs, but it seems like this is not the case, and the same partners CCI seeks to protect, are protesting the CCI’s decision like Micromax and Karbonn.
It is evident that phone manufacturers like Micromax and Karbonn recognise that the CCI’s decision makes Android devices more expensive for users, puts Indian users at the risk of malware, and makes the Android platform less attractive for app developers to write apps for, they added.
Meanwhile, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for IT said Google has all the rights to go to courts for justice.
“They (Google) have the right to go to the Court...everybody has a right to natural justice and they can appeal,” he said.
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