Google moves Karnataka High Court, seeks more time to respond in CCI probe

‘Billing integration deadline extended, no cause for haste’

Tech titan Google has filed a writ in the Karnataka High Court seeking more time to reply to CCI’s queries pertaining to a probe into Play Store rules.

Google said it respects the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) investigative process and “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,” a Google spokesperson said in an email on Monday. A source aware of the company’s position on the matter said Google had extended the timeline for developers in India to integrate with Play’s billing system to October 31, 2022.

The source also said that Google believed this voluntary extension of the deadline extinguishes the need for the ‘interim injunctive relief’ sought by ADIF (Alliance of Digital India Foundation). Hence, the insistence on tight timelines is ‘concerning as there is no cause for undue haste’, the source added. Google also made some other ‘procedural’ requests to the CCI with regard to identity of the complainants as well as the inclusion of a judicial member in the probe panel.

In the ‘absence of any urgency’, Google believed the CCI should observe due process in the interest of a fair and thorough investigation, the source said.

Earlier this month, Google said it was deferring the deadline for developers in India to integrate with its Play billing system from March 2022 to October next year.

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