Google Goes To Karnataka HC Seeking More Time For Its Response On Play Store Policy Probe

by Bhaswati Guha Majumder - Dec 28, 2021 06:36 PM +05:30 IST
Google Goes To Karnataka HC Seeking More Time For Its Response On Play Store Policy ProbeGoogle Play Store. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Snapshot
  • As per reports, the antitrust regulator was pressuring Google to respond to its inquiries by 31 December.

    The CCI had already requested Google's response by 19 November.

    Now, Google has filed a writ petition in the Karnataka HC requesting additional time to respond to queries over its Play store guidelines.

Google has filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court, requesting additional time to respond to queries from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over its Play store guidelines.

The tech giant has stated that there is no "urgency" to the subject because it has voluntarily delayed the introduction of its latest Play Store policy in India until 31 October 2022.

According to The Economic Times, sources said that the corporation has also requested the nomination of a judicial member to the panel investigating the incident, as well as the disclosure of the complainant's identity so that the American tech behemoth can respond appropriately.

The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) filed an interim relief petition with the CCI in October. According to sources, the antitrust regulator was pressuring Google to respond to its inquiries by 31 December. The CCI had already requested Google's response by 19 November. However, the United States-based firm has requested an additional eight weeks to respond.

Meanwhile, a Google spokesperson said: "We have filed a writ in Karnataka High Court regarding the interim relief application in the Google Play probe by the CCI, seeking to move forward in line with established due process principles. We respect the CCI’s investigative process and will continue to engage cooperatively and constructively in the interest of a fair investigation."

Google announced earlier this month that it will give developers another six months to comply with the revised policy for purchases on its Play Store, in an effort to combat strong opposition from Indian internet startups who have called the tech giant's payment policies, which takes effect on 31 October next year, anti-competitive and monopolistic.

But following the central bank's recent adjustment to guidelines supervising recurring digital payments, Google’s policy is expected to enable developers in India with the essential product support for recurring payments, according to the search giant.

As reported earlier, some people familiar with the matter told ET that India's antitrust authority has begun taking in-person depositions from a number of local internet businesses as part of its investigation into charges of market dominance levelled against Google's Play Store policies.

Meanwhile, CCI is seeking comments from companies such as edtech unicorn Unacademy, dating apps TrulyMadly and Tinder, matrimony sites such as Shaadi.com and BharatMatrimony, as well as a few OTT platforms and online gaming ventures, in response to allegations that Google charges app developers a "hefty" commission.

CCI has asked nearly two dozen firms since June this year to explain how Google's app store policy affects their operations and whether Android has a dominant position in five important industries—that includes dating, gaming, edtech, OTT, and matrimony industry.

According to reports, CCI has sent these firms a lengthy questionnaire in which all the companies were asked about their financials, the impact of Google's Playstore commission, management structure and whether their apps were also downloaded from other app stores than Google Play Store.

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