CCI Dissatisfied With NCLAT  Google Antitrust Ruling

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The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is reportedly considering legal options in response to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s (NCLAT) antitrust ruling against Google, which called for the CCI to undertake “effects analysis” in cases involving alleged anti-competitive behavior by big tech firms. The CCI’s dissatisfaction with the ruling stems from concerns that it could force the watchdog to proactively establish the effects of such behavior in each case. Despite refraining from undertaking any effects analysis in its case against Google, the CCI still received a favorable outcome. The debate centers around the CCI’s October 20 ruling that imposed a penalty of INR 1,338 Cr on Google for abusing its market dominance in the Android devices market.

Google had approached the NCLAT for interim relief after CCI’s order penalizing the company, but the request was denied. Google then approached the Supreme Court seeking a ban on the NCLAT directive, but the apex court also rejected the plea and directed the NCLAT to hear the matter. After weeks of hearing arguments and submissions, the NCLAT upheld all the monetary penalties imposed by CCI against Google. The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF), a group of Indian startups, has called on the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to investigate the high in-app billing fees charged by Google, which they allege is a violation of antitrust laws. The ADIF is a non-profit organization that represents over 1,000 digital startups in India. In a letter addressed to the CCI, the ADIF has alleged that Google is charging a 30% commission on in-app purchases made through its Play Store, which is excessive and detrimental to the growth of Indian startups. They have requested the CCI to launch an investigation into this matter and take appropriate action to protect the interests of Indian startups.