IBDF moves NCLAT against Google’s app service fees
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2 weeks ago 12:04:35pm Television

IBDF moves NCLAT against Google’s app service fees

New Delhi, 08-July-2024, By IBW Team

IBDF

The Indian Broadcasting & Digital Foundation (IBDF), representing television broadcasters and OTT platforms, has approached the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) seeking relief from an interim order by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). The CCI had previously denied a request to restrain Google from imposing service fees on app developers.

In March, the CCI refused to grant interim relief to the IBDF and other applicants regarding Google’s app payment policies, pending a final verdict. The IBDF’s counsel has now urged the NCLAT to halt Google’s collection of fees on transactions for apps listed on the Google Play Store, including paid app downloads and in-app purchases.

The council questioned the necessity of charging fees under the Google Play Store Billing System (GPBS) for app transactions, noting that Google already collects a one-time $25 fee from every developer for onboarding their apps onto its Play Store. Furthermore, Google imposes transaction fees ranging from 11 percent to 26 percent, even if app developers use an alternative payment system to GPBS.

In response to competition concerns, Google introduced the ‘User Choice Billing’ mechanism in September 2022. This system offers app developers an alternative payment processing option after the competition regulator highlighted that the GPBS was the sole payment processing system available to app developers.

The IBDF’s move reflects ongoing tensions between app developers and major platforms over payment processing policies and fee structures. The outcome of this appeal could have significant implications for the digital economy and app marketplace in India.


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