Tech giant Google has paid the entire penalty of Rs 1,337.76 crore imposed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in the Android case. Reliable sources revealed to IANS on Tuesday that the entire penalty has been deposited in the Consolidated Fund of India within the 30-day deadline given by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in its order. Google faced a penalty by the Indian market regulator in October 2022 for allegedly exploiting its monopoly in the Android market.
Earlier this year, Google issued a statement announcing that they would be complying with the CCI’s directives for Android and said, “The CCI’s recent directives for Android and Play require us to make significant changes for India, and we’ve informed the CCI of how we will be complying with their directives. We’re updating the Android compatibility requirements to introduce changes for partners to build non-compatible or forked variants.”
The user choice billing enables developers to offer various payment options along with Google Play’s billing system when making an in-app purchase. The changes were made after a Supreme Court bench said that the findings of the CCI cannot be said to have been done without jurisdiction or with manifest error and affirmed the NCLAT’s order, declining to grant interim relief to Google.
The bench directed the NCLAT to dispose of Google’s appeal by March 31 and granted Google seven days to deposit 10 percent of the total penalty imposed on it by CCI. Google had claimed that the CCI did not examine evidence associated with their claims in India and copy-pasted parts of a European court order.
When Google announced the implementation of the new Google Play payments policy, the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) expressed concern over the policy change as Google would be charging 30 percent service fee to app developers and that would be a huge drawback for the Indian startup ecosystem. The ADIF hence asked Google to keep the policy on hold.