Google has started sending notices to start-ups that are using third-party billing systems. Speaking at the India Digital Summit in Mumbai, Bharat Matrimony founder Murugavel Janakiraman said that Google is violating the Competition Commission of India’s order to Google not to restrict app developers from using third-party bill systems.

Janakiraman stated that Google is violating this CCI order: “Google is now sending emails (to us) that if you don’t use my billing system, your app will be deleted from the Play Store.”

Bharat Matrimony had approached Madras High Court after the CCI judgement to challenge Google’s new billing policy in April 2023. The Madras High Court prohibited Google from delisting the apps operated by from the Play Store, even if they were not in compliance with Google Play’s new billing policy. This injunction was initially valid until June 1, 2023.

Interim injunction

More start-ups joined in the meantime, as the High Court heard on the matter. The court extended the interim injunction it had offered to to all these start-ups, directing Google to not remove their apps. However, the companies were ordered to pay Google a 4 percent commission while the matter was being heard. Later on, the Madras High Court dismissed the start-ups’ petition, stating that this matter falls under the jurisdiction of the CCI and the RBI. 

The interim protection from Google’s billing policies elapsed on February 9, 2023, thus allowing Google to remove apps not following Google’s billing policy. 

Since then, the start-ups have approached the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear their appeals on February 12. However, it refused to grant the start-ups interim relief from Google’s new billing policy. The next hearing on the matter will be on March 19.