Google Withdraws Appeal Against Delhi High Court Order On User Choice Billing System

Tech giant abandons appeal against allowing Competition Commission of India to examine Google's Play Store service fees.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>(Photo: Pawel Czerwinski/Unsplash)</p></div>
(Photo: Pawel Czerwinski/Unsplash)

Google LLC withdrew its appeal on Thursday against a Delhi High Court single-judge order, which had directed the Competition Commission of India to hear applications from Indian startups regarding Google's user choice billing system.

The appeal was lodged against the Delhi High Court's decision that allowed the CCI to examine whether Google's Play Store service fee was anti-competitive by invoking the doctrine of necessity.

The advocate representing Google informed the court that the initial order was issued by a single judge when the CCI lacked the quorum to hear the plea.

However, he said that the CCI now has the quorum and has been actively considering the plea of the startups. While expressing Google's desire to withdraw the appeal, their counsel stated that they wished to keep the legal questions open.

The CCI also conveyed that it had no objections to the withdrawal, and the court granted permission for Google to withdraw its appeal.

The Alliance of Digital India Foundation filed a petition against Google's new billing system, leading to the proceedings in the Delhi High Court on Thursday.

Earlier in the year, Indian startups, represented by the ADIF, approached the Delhi High Court challenging Google's user choice billing system scheduled to be implemented on April 26.

Under this system, developers are subject to a 15% to 30% service fee when using Google Play's billing system, while alternative channels like UPI carry a lower commission of 11% to 26%.

ADIF argued that the new policy was unjust, imposing a high service fee on developers even if they opted for alternatives, and offered no significant improvement over the previous commission structure.

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