NEW DELHI: An Indian appeals court National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has upheld a penalty of US$162 million imposed on Google by the country’s antitrust regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) in a case related to Android’s market dominance.

The NCLAT said the CCI order did not violate the principles of natural justice and Google was liable to pay the fine.

Google defended itself saying “we believe it (the CCI decision) presents a major setback for our Indian users and businesses who trust Android’s security features, and potentially raising the cost of mobile devices.”

“We upheld this penalty,“ NCLAT said on Wednesday, adding that “the appellant (Google) is allowed to deposit the penalty.”

The order is seen as a major setback to Google in India.

The NCLAT has held that Google asking the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to pre-install the entire suite of Google applications amounts to imposition of unfair conditions.

Over 95 per cent of smartphones in India use the Android system.

Last year in October, the CCI imposed a fine on Google for anti-competitive practices in relation to Android mobile devices. Google had challenged the ruling before the NCLAT.

Meanwhile, the search giant has been given 30 days to pay the penalty and implement the order. Google now has the option to challenge the order in India’s Supreme Court. -Bernama