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NCLAT To Start Hearing Google Plea On Play Store From 28 Nov
The order came following after Justice Rakesh Kumar recused himself from hearing the plea on 17 April
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The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) will be soon hearing Google's plea against CCI imposing a Rs 936.44 crore penalty on the tech giant for abusing its dominant position with respect to Play Store policies, according to a media report on Tuesday.
The appellate tribunal has directed to list the matter on 28 November for hearing, the report added.
The order came following after Justice Rakesh Kumar recused himself from hearing the plea on 17 April.
The matter was listed before an NCLAT bench comprising Chairman Justice Ashok Bhushan and Alok Srivastava on Monday which directed the parties, including the contesting startups and the Competition Commission of India to file their replies within the period of four weeks.
It also granted a two-week timeline to Google for filing a rejoinder, if any.
Earlier in April 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.
CCI had slapped Google with a hefty penalty on 25 October 2022 claiming the tech giant misused its prominence for its Play Store policies, pertaining to which the regulator directed the company to cease and desist from unfair business practices and carry out various measures addressing the anti-competitive issues within a defined timeline.
Google challenged the allegations before NCLAT, an appellate tribunal that looks after the orders passed by the fair-trade regulator CCI.
On 11 January 2023, the NCLAT bench comprising Justice Kumar and Srivastava declined to grant interim relief to Google, seeking a stay on the penalty and directing the company to pay 10 per cent of the fine before its registry. NCLAT then posted the matter for hearing on 17 April 2023.
Similarly, the same bench in January had refused an interim stay on another Rs 1,337 crore penalty on Google by CCI. The fine was again slammed on the tech major for misusing the dominant position of its Android smartphone operating system and ordered it to deposit 10 per cent of the total amount.
Google then challenged both matters before the Supreme Court. But the apex court sent the matter related to the Rs 1,337 crore penalty to NCLAT and directed it to decide the company’s appeal by 31 March.
Following this, an NCLAT bench comprising Chairman Justice Ashok Bhushan and Alok Srivastava started the case hearing on a day-to-day basis passing an order on 29 March handing out a mixed verdict upholding the fine of Rs 1,337 crore under the conditions like allowing the hosting of third-party app stores on Play Store. However, later withdrawing its petition related to the Rs 936.44 crore penalty Google decided to pursue it before NCLAT.