Google ‘invented an emergency’ asking to stay on Android anti-trust decision

Google ‘invented an emergency’ asking to stay on Android anti-trust decision

January 16, 2023, 6:02 p.m.
2 minute read

Google "artificial emergency" asking to stay on Android's anti-trust ruling
SC observed that Google arranged the urgency of the appeal filing

India’s Supreme Court said on Monday that it will hear Google’s case against the Indian Competition Commission’s (ICC) order on the Android ecosystem on January 18.

The ICC order, imposing a Rs. 1,336.7 crore penalty and other non-monetary sanctions is expected to come into force on January 19.

Previously, the National Company Law Appeals Tribunal (NCLAT) denied Google’s request for interim measures.

Why is this story important?

  • With less than a handful of days for the CCI order to take effect, Google found itself in deep trouble. The company’s last hope, a Supreme Court intervention, is hanging by a thread now.
  • Given the sweeping nature of CCI’s order, Google risks losing its grip on Android in India.

Google’s Man-Made Emergency: CJI-Led Divisional Bench

Google contacted the Supreme Court about the TCC order after the NCLAT refused to grant an interim stay. The appeal was heard by a divisional bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala.

The court observed orally that Google “invented urgency” by filing an eleventh-hour appeal to the NCLAT.

ASG pointed to Google’s delay in approaching NCLAT

In the brief and spirited hearing, Google was represented by Senior Counsel AM Singhvi, while Additional Solicitor General (ASG) N. Venkatraman appeared on behalf of CCI.

ASG argued that Google appealed the TCC order a day before the statute of limitations expired.

NCLAT had rejected the tech giant’s plea on the same ground.

Google has already complied with similar guidelines in Europe: ASG

The ASG argued that Google was discriminating between Android customers in India and Europe. He said the company had already complied with similar guidelines in Europe.

“The European Union has already held them as dominant. We are a third world country. How can they discriminate between Indian consumers and European consumers?” Venkatraman said.

The Court inquired about Google’s willingness to practice the European regime

The court asked Google if it would be prepared to practice the same regime in India as in Europe. “Please think about this and come back,” CJI said.

The bench originally planned to refer the case to NCLAT. However, following the ASG’s objection, the court released the case on Wednesday for a rehearing.