India court refuses immediate relief to Google on penalty over Android monopoly

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An Indian appeals court refused to grant immediate relief to Alphabet Inc.’s Google over a $162 million antitrust fine for abusing the dominant position of its Android smartphone operating system in the country.

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal on Wednesday asked the US tech giant to deposit 10 percent of the penalty after admitting its appeal against the Competition Commission of India’s order.

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The CCI said last October that Google had strengthened its market position through moves it deemed anti-competitive. The regulator also directed Google to change several of its current practices on Android by allowing smartphone users to uninstall apps, and letting consumers select a search engine of their choice.

Google is challenging the CCI order, which becomes effective on January19, saying it affects consumer safety and experience on Android and could raise smartphone prices. The order also affects how Google operates in India, a lawyer for the company said in court.

A lawyer representing the antitrust regulator told the court on Wednesday that Google had been forced to make Android more open — such as giving smartphone users a wider choice on app selection — in Europe but was reluctant to replicate the moves in India.

Google did not comment on the NCLAT proceedings.

Read more: Google must remove ‘manifestly inaccurate’ data from search results: EU top court

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