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CCI declines interim relief to Indian developers in Google app billing case

Sumit Vishwakarma
New Update
CCI declines interim relief to Indian developers

In a significant decision on March 20, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) declined the request for interim relief by Indian app developers against Google's Play Store billing policy.

The ruling comes shortly after the CCI's observation on March 15 that Google's User Choice Billing (UCB) system potentially breaches the Competition Act, 2002, prompting an investigation to be completed within 60 days.

The plea and CCI's rationale

The plea, which was filed by several Indian app developers, including Shaadi.com and Kuku FM, challenged Google's compliance with the CCI's October 2022 order regarding its new payment policy.


The CCI, however, found that the developers failed to demonstrate the necessity for interim relief or how Google's actions would cause irreparable harm that couldn't be compensated monetarily. 

The commission emphasized the importance of measures being "proportionate and carefully crafted" to avoid unintended consequences while maintaining the integrity of the platform ecosystem.

Developers' response and Google's stance

Anupam Mittal, founder of Shaadi.com, expressed disappointment over the lack of immediate relief but remained hopeful about the ongoing case against Google's "extreme monopolistic practices."

Google, on its part, defended its User Choice Billing system, introduced in 2023 to comply with the CCI's directives, allowing developers an alternative billing system but still imposing a service fee, albeit at a reduced rate.