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SC to hear Google plea against CCI on 16 Jan

NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court is expected to hear on 16 January Google’s appeal against a Competition Commission of India (CCI) order imposing a 1,338-crore penalty on it for alleged abuse of the dominant position of its Android smartphone operating system in the country.

Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud took note of a request made by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Google, and said that it would list the plea for hearing on Monday.

Singhvi, while seeking a date of hearing, complained that extraordinary directions had been passed by CCI and the order has to be complied with by 19 January. “There is no finding of abuse of dominance,” he added.

Google had earlier approached the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) against the CCI order. The NCLAT, on 4 January, refused an interim stay on the impugned order and asked Google to deposit 10% of the amount. It noted that Google took more than two months to challenge the CCI order, and since the tech giant showed no urgency in moving an appeal, it cannot insist on interim relief.

Apart from imposing the fine, the CCI in October last year had asked Google to allow smartphone users on the Android platform to uninstall apps and let them select a search engine of their choice. That order was to become effective from 19 January.

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