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NEW DELHI : The Competition Commission of India (CCI) will complete its investigation into Google in the next 60 days, it informed Karnataka High Court on Wednesday in response to a writ petition filed by Google.

The petition filed on December 28 requested more time to respond to allegations of antitrust practices against the company made by a group of startups.

The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF), an industry body of 422 Indian startups, had in October 2021 filed a petition before CCI seeking interim relief from Google’s new Play Store billing policy that was then supposed to take effect from March 2022. The CCI, in turn, asked Google to respond to these allegations by 31 December. The competition regulator had earlier ordered a probe into the company and its billing policies.

On 28 December, Google filed a writ petition in Karnataka High Court seeking more time to respond. Google also sought inclusion of a judicial member on the CCI panel hearing the case and asked for the identity of the complainants to be disclosed.

Google withdrew its writ petition on Wednesday and promised to cooperate with CCI’s investigation. “We are pleased with the outcome of today’s hearing before Karnataka High Court and welcome CCI’s recognition that there is no need to proceed with ADIF’s request for interim orders, and that the CCI will instead focus on completing its ongoing factual investigation. We will continue to cooperate with CCI’s investigative process," the company said on Wednesday.

“Google’s consistent attempts throughout have been to implement their mandatory Play Store billing policy and to also delay or evade any antitrust indictment. By conveying to the court that the CCI is expected to complete their investigation in 60 days, the antitrust regulator has essentially checkmated Google’s attempt to delay the overall antitrust investigation process by exploiting legal challenges," said Sijo Kuruvilla George, executive director of ADIF.

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