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Unprecedented Move: Google Appeals to Supreme Court, Urging Quashing of Android Antitrust Directives

In a noteworthy development, Google has reportedly made a plea to the Supreme Court, seeking the dismissal of antitrust directives related to its abuse of the Android market. This move comes as Google intensifies its legal battle against the competition watchdog in one of its most crucial markets. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) had previously stated in October that Google, whose Android operating system powers a staggering 97% of 600 million smartphones in India, had taken advantage of its dominant position in the market. Consequently, the CCI ordered Google to eliminate various restrictions imposed on device manufacturers, including those concerning the pre-installation of apps, and imposed a hefty fine of $163 million, which Google duly paid.

In a subsequent development, an Indian tribunal offered partial relief to Google in March by setting aside four out of the ten directives issued in the case. While the tribunal acknowledged the CCI's findings of Google's anti-competitive behavior, it granted some reprieve to Google by overturning certain directives that compelled the company to alter its business model. As per a source with direct knowledge, Google is now petitioning the Supreme Court to quash the remaining directives.

Furthermore, in its recent filing on Monday, Google is asserting that it did not abuse its market position and should not be held liable for paying any penalties, the source added. Google has confirmed the submission in a statement, expressing its anticipation of presenting its case and demonstrating the benefits that Android provides to users and developers.

It is worth noting that this Supreme Court challenge by Google has not been previously reported. On the other hand, the CCI has also approached the Supreme Court, seeking to overturn the tribunal's decision to grant Google partial relief, according to a third source. At the time of reporting, the CCI had not responded to a request for comment on this matter.

The implications of India's Android decision have been a cause of particular concern for Google, as the directives issued were considered more extensive than those imposed by the European Commission in its landmark 2018 ruling against the Android operating system. In response to the directive, Google has made significant changes to Android in India over the past few months, including permitting device manufacturers to license individual apps for pre-installation.

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