Google Play Probe: The tech giant has requested extra time to reply to the CCI from the Karnataka High Court.
India: Tue, 28 Dec 2021 08:55, by: Staff Reporters

Google has requested more time to respond to the Competition Commission's inquiries about the Play Store rules inquiry in a writ filed in the Karnataka High Court.

Google has filed a writ in the Karnataka High Court, requesting extra time to respond to the Competition Commission's questions about the Play Store rules investigation.

Google stated that it respects the Competition Commission of India's (CCI) probe and that it "will continue to engage cooperatively and constructively in the interest of a fair investigation."

"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," Google spokesperson said in an email on Monday.

According to a person familiar with Google's stance on the topic, the deadline for developers in India to connect with Play's payment system has been extended till October 31, 2022.

According to the source, Google argues that the voluntary extension of the deadline eliminates the need for ADIF's 'interim injunctive relief' (Alliance of Digital India Foundation). As a result, the source noted, the insistence on exceedingly tight schedules is alarming because there is no reason for haste.

Google has also made several 'procedural' requests to the CCI, including the names of the complainants (which will let it respond appropriately to the complaint) and the inclusion of a judicial member on the investigation panel.

In the absence of a pressing need, Google feels the CCI should follow due process to conduct a fair and complete inquiry, according to the person.

Google announced earlier this month that the deadline for developers in India to integrate with its Play billing system will be pushed back from March 2022 to October of the following year. Last October, the firm set a deadline of March 31, 2022, for developers in India to integrate with Play's billing system.

On December 10, 2021, Google announced that the deadline for developers in India to integrate with its Play billing system will be extended due to changes in India's recurring digital payments laws.

"We are extending this to 31st October 2022 to provide developers in India the required product support for recurring payments through convenient user payment systems, including UPI and wallets, and also provide them more time in light of the changes to India's recurring digital payments guidelines," a Google spokesperson had said.

Indian developers and entrepreneurs have previously expressed concerns about Google's Play billing system, claiming that the internet giant cannot force Indian app developers/owners to offer digital services by forcing them to use its billing system.

Apps that want to sell digital material through Google's Play Store must use the Google Play billing system and pay a portion of the in-app transaction as a fee, according to Google. It had imposed a deadline of September 30, 2021, for the necessary changes to be completed.

Following complaints from India's developer community, the deadline was extended to March 31, 2022. The deadline has now been extended back to October of the following year.

The tech giant has stressed that its payment policy is not new and that developers who distribute their apps on Google Play have always been forced to use Google Play's billing system if they enable in-app purchases of digital products.


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