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Delhi HC Refuses Urgent Hearing On Google's Appeal Against Order Directing CCI Hearing The High Court on Monday had reportedly asked the CCI to decide the plea by ADIF against Google's billing policy on or before April 26

By Teena Jose

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The Delhi high court on Tuesday refused to urgently hear the appeal by Google against an order directing the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to decide the application filed by startups against the tech giant's new in-app billing policy.

Google had filed an appeal in the Delhi High Court 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 High Court had on Monday reportedly 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 appeal was mentioned before a Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad by Senior Advocate Sandeep Sethi, who requested that the matter be listed on Tuesday.

"The order was passed yesterday. It is scheduled at CCI today at 2:30 pm and the decision has to be taken today. The CCI lacks quorum," Sethi told the Court. The bench, however, refused to hear the case on Tuesday. A single-judge bench of Justice Tushar Rao Gedela had asked the CCI to decide on or before April 26 on the plea also seeking direction on the tech giant to keep the same in abeyance till the issue is adjudicated by CCI.

A group of Indian startups has asked the court to suspend Alphabet Inc Google's new in-app billing fee system until the country's antitrust body investigates the US firm for alleged non-compliance with its directives. The ADIF, which has members like PaytM, Matrimony.com, TrulyMadly, MapMyIndia and several other startups, said the move of the US tech giant violates the anti-trust watchdog's order. 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

In its April 10 filing at the Delhi High Court, ADIF argued that the antitrust body is yet to hear its complaint promptly even as Google's April 26 implementation date of the so-called User Choice Billing system (UCB) is nearing. The 744-page filing, seen by Reuters, asks the court to "keep the implementation of Google's UCB in abeyance" until CCI hears the complaint.

As per previous reports, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in October imposed a $113 million fine on Google and said it must allow the use of third-party billing and stop forcing developers to use its in-app payment system that charges commission of 15%-30%. Google has denied any wrongdoing and challenged the antitrust ruling.

According to Google, GPBS is a service that enables the sale of digital products and content in Android apps. Google Play's billing system can be used to sell a one-time product or subscriptions on a recurring basis.

Teena Jose

News Desk Reporter with Entrepreneur India

Teena is a post graduate in financial journalism. She has an avid interest in content creation, digital media and fashion.
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