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BENGALURU/NEW DELHI : The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF), an industry body of 422 Indian startups, has filed a petition before the Competition Commission of India (CCI) seeking interim relief from Google’s new PlayStore policy, which goes into effect from March.

The development follows CCI initiating a probe against Google last November on allegations of it abusing its dominant position to force app makers to exclusively use its billing system.

The 30% commission charged by Google is “extremely high and unfair", ADIF said in its petition to CCI. It also contended that the core issue was of mandatory imposition of the Google Play billing system.

“ADIF foresees that barring an order passed by CCI to maintain status quo until the completion of the ongoing inquiry, Google shall proceed to enforce its terms on the Play Store, thereby leading to adverse and irreversible consequences on India’s fledgling startup ecosystem," said Sijo Kuruvilla George, executive director, ADIF. Further, high commissions from the Play Store billing system will have a “destructive effect" on operating margins of a large number of startups, ADIF said.

Google India did not respond to Mint’s queries until press time.

“CCI does have the power to give interim relief during an ongoing probe, if it believes there is enough reason to do so. However, this is used sparsely and the complainants have to provide additional proof to show how non-grant of relief will lead to market failure," said Anisha Chand, partner, competition and antitrust, at law firm Khaitan and Co.

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