In a relief to Matrimony.com, the Madras High Court has restrained Google from removing the Bharat Matrimony app from Play Store. In its interim injunction, the court asked the tech giant not to delist the app till June 1. 

The Chennai-based Matrimony.com, which owns Bharat Matrimony brand, has challenged the Google over a new in-app billing system. In its suit, Matrimony.com said Google tried to make Google Play Billing System as mandatory and sole option for payments and imposed a fee of 15-30 per cent depending upon the annual revenue of app developers. It said the Competition Commission of India (CCI) held Google Play Billing System as the only option for app developers to get payments that were “illegal”.  

Matrimony.com said it approached the Madras High Court against Google group of companies to protect its interest and sought interim reliefs. The matchmaking company said its main contention was the present Google payment policy is in violation of applicable law and imposing 11 per cent/26 per cent fee on the revenue will cause hardship and loss to all the app developers. “Such a levy is unconscionable and not sustainable,” it added. 

BL Explainer. Why Indian start-ups are up in arms against Google’s new in-app billing system 

Commenting on the injunction order, Murugavel Janakiraman, CEO, Matrimony.com Ltd said, “It is a great relief and the fee structure proposed by Google is a death knell to Indian start-ups. Google is forcing app developers to agree to its payment policy of charging a service fee at the rate of 11% and 26% even with respect to the payments made by customers through its new users’ choice/alternate billing system without providing any services at all.” 

He added that Google is trying to circumvent the CCI order, which directed Google not to restrict app developers from using third party billing or payment processing services, either for in-app purchases or for purchasing an app.

On the NSE, the shares of Matrimony.com ended 1 per cent higher at ₹525.10 apiece.

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