A legal filing shows that a group of startups requested a court to suspend Google’s new in-app billing fee system until India’s antitrust body investigates the tech giant for alleged non-compliance with its directives.
What Happened? The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) had last month requested the antitrust regulator to investigate Google for devising a new system, which still charges startups a high service fee. This — the group argues — has happened despite an antitrust directive in October to allow the use of third-party billing services for in-app payments.
In its April 10 filing at the Delhi High Court, ADIF argued that the antitrust body had not heard its complaint promptly even as Google’s April 26 implementation date of the so-called User Choice Billing system (UCB) is nearing.
The 744-page filing asks the court to “keep the implementation of Google's UCB in abeyance” until CCI hears the complaint. The court is likely to hear the plea later this week.
Why it Matters? The filing marks the latest tussle between Google and rival startups, which have repeatedly criticized the U.S. company for what they say are unfair business restrictions.
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It is worth noting that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined Google $112 million (₹919.65 crore), in October 2022, and labelled the company’s use of its proprietary in-app payment system an abuse of its dominant market position, directing it to stop forcing developers to use the system.
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