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Delhi High Court defers hearing in Google's in-app billing policy case

Google had plans to implement the UCB from April 26

Delhi HC

Bhavini Mishra New Delhi

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Delhi High Court on Wednesday deferred the hearing of Google plea against a single-judge order directing the Competition Commission of India(CCI) to deal with applications filed by the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) against the tech giant's billing policy.

The case is likely to come up for hearing on November 1. 

Earlier this week, Disney, moved the Madras High Court to challenge Google's in-app billing system. The company, which runs the Disney+ Hotstar streaming app in India, told the court that Google was threatening to remove the streaming app if it didn't comply with the new payments system. The court told Google not to remove app from the store and directed it to receive 4% service fee from Disney. 

The Delhi High Court had in April asked the CCI to decide the plea by the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) against Google's billing policy on or before April 26.

The ADIF, which represents a group of digital start-ups, had filed a petition to suspend Google's new in-app billing fee system, called the User Choice Billing (UCB), until the CCI investigates the tech giant for alleged non-compliance with its directives. The ADIF had alleged that despite the regulator’s directive asking the tech giant to allow the use of third-party billing services for in-app payments, the UCB system charges a high service fee.

Google had plans to implement the UCB from April 26.

The CCI, in October last year, imposed a penalty of Rs 936 crore on Google and asked it to allow and not restrict app developers from using any third-party billing services and to not impose any discriminatory condition.

The group of startups said their grievance was that the anti-trust regulator had failed to act on its plea about the new policy owing to a lack of quorum to consider the issue.

CCI is now hearing the petitions of the startups. 

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First Published: Jul 20 2023 | 12:34 AM IST

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