A coalition of Indian startups led by advocacy group Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) has reportedly asked the Delhi High Court (HC) to halt Google’s new user choice billing system in the country.
The ADIF requested that the ‘implementation of Google’s UCB (user choice billing) be held in abeyance’ in its April 10 petition. until the Competition Commission of India (CCI) investigates Google for antitrust violations.
ADIF argues in its 744-page filing that the competition watchdog has yet to begin hearings on its plea filed last month seeking an investigation into Google’s new billing system.
The digital coalition had previously approached the CCI, alleging that Google had devised a new system that still charged large commissions to startups and developers despite directives to allow the use of third-party billing services for in-app payments.
ADIF has increased its pressure ahead of Google’s April 26 deadline for implementing the user choice billing system. Meanwhile, the HC is set to hear the petition later this week.
The development comes just days after the policy think-tank urged CCI to investigate Google’s “abusive dominance,” citing a high 11-26% service fee for in-app purchases. ADIF stated in its petition that such high commissions would be a “death knell” for the Indian startup ecosystem.
Google currently charges developers service fees ranging from 15% to 30% for using Google’s proprietary payment system. However, under new guidelines, developers will only be eligible for a 4% rebate despite using none of the tech giant’s resources.
The drama revolves around two separate penalties imposed on Google by the competition watchdog last year for its abuse of dominance in the Android device market and its Play Store policies.