Indian Startups On The Edge As HC Reserves Order


The Delhi High Court in India has reserved its order on a plea filed by Indian startups, under the banner of ADIF, seeking temporary suspension of Google’s new user choice billing system. The plea had sought interim relief prior to the implementation of the new norms, claiming that Google could use all the transaction data flowing into its system post-April 26 to push its apps. The petition had also contended that there was a lack of quorum at the regulator and Google was taking advantage of this institutional lacunae. At the core of the saga is the new billing system unveiled by Google post CCI’s October antitrust rulings, which found Google guilty of abuse of dominance in the Android devices market and regarding its Play Store policies. After the Competition Commission of India’s antitrust ruling, Google announced a new billing system that allows app developers to use third-party payment systems, with commissions in the range of 11-26%. Previously, Google used to charge developers a commission of 15-30%. This move was aimed at addressing concerns raised by app developers and complying with the antitrust directives issued by the CCI. However, some Indian startups under the banner of ADIF have challenged the new billing system, alleging that it is a ‘cloaked version’ of the previous billing policy and was an attempt by Google to bypass CCI’s antitrust directions.