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Google: Google has reached the High Court against the CCI investigation, a dispute over the Play Store billing policy

The Google Digital India Foundation has sought additional time to include a judicial member on the CCI panel and to identify the complainants, in addition to the allegations of the alliance.

CCI probe against Google: Google has filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court seeking more time to respond to complaints against its Play Store billing policy. The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF), an industry body of 422 Indian startups, filed a petition with the CCI in October seeking interim relief from Google’s Play Store billing policy. This policy was supposed to be effective in March 2022.

To that end, the CCI has directed Google to submit its response by December 31, 2021. Although Google has not yet responded, the company this month extended its policy deadline to October 2022. Google has now filed a writ petition in the High Court seeking more time to file reply. The agency argued that the problem was not urgent at this time.

Google wants interim relief

In a statement, the agency said, “We have filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court seeking to proceed with the prescribed procedure rather than interim relief in the Google Play probe by CCI.

A judicial member should be included in the CCI panel

Google has also requested the inclusion of a judicial member in the CCI panel to hear the case and disclose the identity of the plaintiffs. Although the petition for October came as an ADIF, the complainant filed the complaint anonymously. Google argued that disclosing the identities of the complainants would help them understand their complaints and address their concerns.

Billing policy raises startup concerns

For Play Store billing policy, app developers need to use the built-in payment mode to sell apps and services through the Play Store. The policy was announced earlier this year and Google has given Indian startups until March 2022 to comply. It was criticized by many startups including Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Razorpay’s Harshil Mathur, Matrimony.com’s Murugavel Janakiraman.

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