As Google challenges payment directive order, Delhi High Court seeks startups’ point of view

As Google challenges Payments Directive order, High Court solicits startups' point of view

Google had rejected the application before the single judge for several reasons.

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court today sought the view of the Competition Commission of India and the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) on Google’s challenge to an injunction asking the regulator to review the tech giant’s policy of using third-party payment processors allow paid app downloads and in-app purchases on a commission basis.

A chamber of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad issued a notice of Google’s appeal against the single judge’s order, asking the commission to consider the lawsuit brought by ADIF, an alliance of individuals and an industry body representing innovative startups , Country to consider against the new billing system on or before April 26th.

Lead counsel Sajan Poovayya, who acted for the applicant, said he “did not apply for an injunction” at the time.

“Put out the decision,” said the bank. On Tuesday, the court refused to grant Google summary proceedings over the appeal that same day. Google had mentioned the complaint to the Chamber for urgent consideration, saying that the Commission would deal with the matter itself in accordance with the single judge’s order in the afternoon.

ADIF had approached the single judge earlier this month with a complaint that the antitrust authority had failed to comply with its request to object to Google’s new payments policy due to lack of a quorum.

Google had rejected the petition before the single judge for a number of reasons, including because there were only two members and the chair had yet to be appointed, the Commission was unable to decide on the petitioner’s application.

However, Judge Tushar Rao Gedela, in his 38-page order passed on Monday, noted that a vacancy or flaw in the commission’s constitution would not invalidate any proceedings as far as its decision-making powers are concerned, and according to Additional Attorney General N Venkataraman, was the Commission was formed in accordance with the provisions of the Competition Act and was highly functional and exercised judicial functions.

“There is no bar, legal or otherwise, in ordering the CCI to accept the Section 42 (Violation of CCI Orders) motions of the Act as submitted by the petitioner for hearing and consideration thereof under the Act on or before 4/26.” 2023 Accordingly, the petition is settled in the above sense,” the single judge had ruled.

ADIF had previously submitted to the single judge that Google would charge a service fee of 11 percent or 26 percent in the case of third-party providers under its “User Choice Billing” policy, which is scheduled to take effect from Wednesday (April 26). which are anti-competitive and attempt to circumvent an order issued by the Commission.

The US tech giant was said to operate a marketplace for mobile applications for Android devices called “Play Store”, which enjoys the highest level of dominance in this market, and under the current framework there is no obligation to pay commissions to third-party payment processors.

The single judge was informed that in October last year the commission, in imposing a fine of Rs 936 crore, had asked Google to allow and not restrict app developers’ use of third-party billing services and not to impose discriminatory conditions.

ADIF had stated that its complaint was that the Commission had failed to respond to its objection to the new Directive because the quorum for consideration of the issue was not there.

She had claimed that the Commission had to invoke the “doctrine of necessity” and look into the matter, as a refusal to intervene would cause irreversible damage to the petitioners and other app developers and lead to market distortions.

The implementation of the directive, meanwhile, must be held in abeyance until the matter is investigated by the antitrust authorities, the petitioner had prayed.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published by a syndicated feed.)

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