Delhi High Court Directs CCI To Take Up Complaints Against Google's Billing System Before April 26

The Delhi High Court directed the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to take up the three applications filed by the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) — a group representing Indian startups, against Google’s new in-app billing policy before April 26.

What Happened? In early April, the tech industry body lodged complaints with the antitrust watchdog, requesting that it reviews Google’s user choice billing (UCB) policy, which will become applicable from April 26.

On April 18, Justice Tushar Rao Gedela heard the matter, reserving judgement after the counsels representing the parties debated whether it fell within the CCI’s scope to examine ADIF’s grievances and issue a prompt decision.

The most recent arguments on the matter were primarily around whether it was within the ambit of the law for CCI to take the complaints up given that it has only two members, and is therefore lacking a quorum. The court maintained that there wasn’t a lack of quorum, ordering the CCI to move quickly before the April 26 deadline.

See also: Google Faces Major Flak From Entrepreneurs For Forcing Payment System On Indian Devs

The Case So Far? ADIF had filed the applications seeking initiation of non-compliance proceedings against Google for contravening the CCI order of October 25, 2021, in the Google Play Store case.

It is worth noting that ADIF also sought the Delhi High Court's direction to Google to keep its proposed User Choice Billing (UCB) system in abeyance until CCI completes its investigation of their complaint over the tech giant's non-compliance with the competition watchdog's ruling.

The court did not pass any stay on the implementation of UCB from April 26 but directed CCI to consider ADIF's applications under Section 42 of the Competition Act, which gives power to the Commission to pass an order against a party for contravening its orders.

The Alliance of Digital India Foundation had sought relief under this section and the development is seen as a relief to digital start-ups.

Read next: Suspend Google's In-App Billing System Until Antitrust Ruling Comes, Startups Urge Delhi High Court

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