CCI probe follows petition by start-up industry body seeking interim relief from several categories of new Play Store policies
Earlier this month, Google Play had extended the deadline for implementation of compulsory use of Google Billing Systems for in-app sales digital goods and services, from March 31, 2022 to October 31, 2022. “We have filed a writ in the Karnataka High Court regarding the interim relief application in the Google Play probe by the CCI, seeking to move forward in line with established due process principles. We respect the CCI’s investigative process and will continue to engage cooperatively and constructively in the interest of a fair investigation,” a Google Play statement said.
The probe follows the start-up industry body, the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) petitioning the CCI in October, asking for interim relief from several categories of the new policy, including 30 per cent merchant commission on sale of digital goods and services, mandatory use of Google’s payment gateway, restricting the use of other payment gateways that charge commissions of up to 5 per cent.
Post that, Google Play had announced several changes to the service fee model, bringing down the subscription fees from 30 per cent to 15 per cent. In its petition to the Karnataka High Court, Google wants the CCI to follow “due process including provision of adequate response time, in the absence of any urgency”. The writ also includes a few procedural requests, including details on the complainant’s identity, and appointment of a person from the judiciary on the probe panel.