According to a legal filing, a group of Indian entrepreneurs has requested a court to halt Alphabet Inc. Google’s new in-app charging fee structure while the nation’s antitrust agency looks into the U.S. company’s apparent disregard for its rules.
Despite an antitrust directive in October to allow use of third-party billing services for in-app payments, the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) last month asked India’s antitrust regulator to investigate Google for creating a new system that startups claim still charges them a high service fee.
In its April 10 filing with the Delhi High Court, ADIF claims that, despite Google’s alleged User Choice Billing system (UCB) implementation date of April 26, the antitrust authority has yet to promptly consider its complaint.
Reuters was given access to the 744-page document in which the court is urged to “hold the execution of Google’s Offer in abeyance” until CCI considers the complaint.
Later this week, the court is anticipated to hear the plea. Google declined to comment, and the CCI made no comment.
The lawsuit is the latest exchange of blows between Google and competing companies, who have long blasted the US company for what they claim are unfair commercial limitations.
The Competition Commission of India penalized Google $112 million in October for abusing its dominant market position by requiring developers to use its exclusive in-app payment system. The Commission also ordered Google to stop pressuring developers to utilize its in-app payment system.
Google has contested the antitrust verdict and denied any misconduct. According to the new service charge scheme, investments in the Android mobile operating system and Google Play app store are supported, guaranteeing that they are distributed for free, and developer tools and analytic services are covered.
In contrast to the old in-app payment system, which levied a price of 15–30%, Indian companies contend that Google’s UCB system still imposes a “service fee” of 11-26%. According to the ADIF complaint, the new system is “masked as another version” of Google’s prior technology.