Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Google's Stay Plea Against CCI

On the day when Google is supposed to comply with CCI's order, the SC will decide if the tech major deserves interim relief.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Google. (Source: Reuters)</p></div>
Google. (Source: Reuters)

In Google LLC's battle against India's anti-trust regulator, the Supreme Court is keen that the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal first hears the merits of the stay application.

In Wednesday's hearing, the bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud suggested that the NCLAT has not really looked at Google’s application for interim stay at all. And that instead of the Supreme Court looking at Google’s arguments as a matter of first impression, the apex court can direct the NCLAT to look into the matter. "We don't have to pass an interim order also."

R Venkatraman, appearing for the Competition Commission of India, had some reservations against the CJI’s suggestion. Even if this issue gets sent back to the NCLAT, Google is going to appeal before the top court and therefore this issue, in any case, won’t end at the appellate tribunal and will have to be taken up by the apex court.

The bench agreed to hear the case on merits on Thursday, which is the last day for Google to comply with CCI's directions issued in October last year.

To recap, the regulator imposed a Rs 1,337 crore penalty after it found the tech major guilty of anti-competitive conduct in the Android mobile ecosystem. The CCI order had given Google three months to amend its unfair business practices.

Earlier this month, the NLCAT declined Google’s request for an interim stay on the CCI order. This prompted the tech giant to file an appeal before the top court.