NCLAT to start hearing Google plea on Play Store from Nov 28, Legal News, ET LegalWorld | Court Practice News

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) will on November 28 begin hearing Google’s plea against CCI imposing Rs 936.44 crore penalty on the tech giant for abusing its dominant position with respect to Play Store policies. This comes after one of its judicial members, Justice Rakesh Kumar, recused himself from hearing the plea on April 17.

The matter was listed on Monday before an NCLAT bench comprising Chairman Justice Ashok Bhushan and Alok Srivastava, which directed the parties, including the contesting startups and Competition Commission of India to file their replies within four weeks.

It also gave two weeks time to Google for filing rejoinder, if any.

The appellate tribunal has directed to list the matter on November 28 for hearing.

On April 17 this year, an NCLAT bench comprising Justice Rakesh Kumar and Alok Srivastava had ordered Google’s appeal to be listed before another bench of which Justice Kumar was not a party.

On October 25, 2022, CCI slapped a penalty of Rs 936.44 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position for its Play Store policies.

The regulator also directed the company to cease and desist from unfair business practices and carry out various measures to address the anti-competitive issues within a defined timeline.

This was challenged by Google before NCLAT, which is an appellate tribunal for the orders passed by fair trade regulator CCI.

On January 11 this year, the NCLAT bench comprising Justice Kumar and Srivastava had declined to grant interim relief to Google, seeking a stay on the penalty.

It directed Google to deposit 10 per cent of the fine before its registry and posted the matter for hearing on April 17, 2023.

Similarly, the same bench on January 4 refused an interim stay on another Rs 1,337-crore penalty on Google by CCI for abusing the dominant position of its Android smartphone operating system and asked it to deposit 10 per cent of the total amount.

Both matters were challenged by Google before the Supreme Court.

The apex court sent back the matter related to the Rs 1,337-crore penalty to NCLAT and directed it to decide the Google’s appeal by March 31.

After this, an NCLAT bench comprising Chairman Justice Ashok Bhushan and Alok Srivastava started day-to-day hearing and passed an order on March 29, in which it handed out a mixed verdict – upholding the fine of Rs 1,337 crore but scrapping conditions like allowing hosting of third-party app stores on Play Store.

However, later Google withdrew its petition related to the Rs 936.44 crore penalty and decided to pursue it before NCLAT.

  • Published On Sep 26, 2023 at 01:12 PM IST

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