Google billing policy: Madras HC extends interim injunction to start-ups

The High Court extended interim injunction that barred Google from delisting start-ups that have filed petitions against it from company's Play Store

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BS Web Team New Delhi

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The Madras High Court (HC) on Thursday extended an interim injunction that barred Google from delisting the start-ups that have petitioned the court against the Play Store billing policy, till the next hearing on June 19.

However, the court has asked all the petitioners to submit a report to Google by July 15, on the number of downloads of their apps from Play Store in June and directed them to pay a four per cent commission to Google.

Several start-ups such as Unacademy, Kuku FM, TrulyMadly, QuackQuack, Aha, Stage, and Kutumb had approached the HC challenging Google’s mandated billing route and seeking to stop the company from removing them from Play Store, according to a report in The Economic Times (ET).

According to the ET report, and were given an unconditional stay but under the Jeevan Saathi (another petitioner) order, the court had asked them to report their monthly downloads and pay four per cent commission on that.

Google is expected to raise an invoice by July 20 and these companies will have to pay by July 25, according to the ET report.

One of the start-ups said levying even a four per cent commission would be unfair.

Vinay Singhal, Stage co-founder and chief executive, said, “As much as we have got the injunction, we still believe that even four per cent is unfair to us at many levels.

He said that Google doesn't have any right to ask for their private business data just because they were listed on the Play Store.

Singhal said that these companies pay only 1-2 per cent to payment gateways at the moment and that the court direction would add an extra four per cent cost without providing any services.

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First Published: Jun 09 2023 | 12:25 PM IST

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