SC asks Google: When to put same Europe-like regime in India


The Supreme Court on Monday asked tech giant Google whether it will put in place the same regime in India as it has in Europe with respect to the pre-installed apps in Android-based mobile phones. A bench of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala posted the matter for hearing on 18 January. The inquiry of the apex court came after Additional Solicitor General of India N Venkataraman, appearing for CCI, told the apex court that Google was taking different standards in Europe and India and the search engine company had complied with a similar order passed by European Commission. ASG told the bench, “We are going to show some shocking data. Their grievance that they are unable to comply with the order within 90 days doesn’t stand because they’re fully complying with the order passed in 2016 in the European Union. Euro 4 billion fully paid by them. All these directions have been totally complied within Europe for the past five years. A standing committee is now going into this. This will now be part of digital law. European Union has already held them to be dominant. We are a third-world country.” ASG asked how they can discriminate between Indian consumers and European consumers. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Google India refuted the claim of CCI and said the CCI had misrepresented the facts and that compliance in Europe was pertaining to MADA unbundling. The CJI then posted the matter for Wednesday and asked Singhvi, “Will Google practice the same regime in place in India as you have in Europe? Please reflect on this and come back.” The apex court was hearing an appeal of Google India against a ruling of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), which refused to stay a Rs 1,337.76 crore penalty imposed on the technology giant by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for alleged anti-competitive practices.