Google Withdraws Appeal Before SC Against NCLAT Order

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Google has withdrawn its appeal before the Supreme Court against a National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) decision in an ongoing tussle with the Competition Commision of India (CCI). In October, CCI imposed a penalty of INR 936.44 Cr on Google in an antitrust probe for abusing its dominant position with respect to its Play Store policies. The watchdog directed Google to “not restrict app developers from using any third party billing/payment processing services.” Google has already deposited 10% of the penalty to NCLAT, while the matter was listed for final hearing before the tribunal on April 17.

According to the new directive by Google, app developers who opt for a third-party billing system for Google Play Store purchases in India starting April 26 will receive a discount commission of 4%. Currently, app developers are charged a commission of 15-30% for using Google’s platform and payment services.The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) has requested the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to investigate Google’s “abusive dominance practices” on an urgent basis. ADIF argues that the 11-26% service fee charged by Google for in-app purchases will be detrimental to the Indian startup ecosystem. This is because startups often rely on in-app purchases as a significant source of revenue, and the high fees could limit their growth and competitiveness. ADIF has also requested that the CCI examine whether Google is using its dominant position in the market to stifle competition and prevent the emergence of new players in the app marketplace.