google: Madras HC extends interim relief to all startups involved in Google payment’s case

The Madras High Court on Thursday has extended the interim injunction to all the petitions filed in the Google Play billing matter, directing Google not to delist any of them from Play Store. However, the court has also asked all the startups that have filed petitions to submit a report to Google on the total number of downloads in the month of June, which the court said they would have to pay a 4% commission on to the search giant.

On Monday, ET had reported that Unacademy, Kuku FM, TrulyMadly and QuackQuack had moved the Madras High Court. Soon after three others – OTT platform Aha, Stage and Kutumb – also filed petitions in the HC seeking relief.

These companies joined the likes of Bharat Matrimony and which had already approached the high court challenging Google’s billing policies and seeking relief from the risk of being de-platformed from the Play Store. The court’s orders on Thursday apply for all these companies.

“ and were given an unconditional stay but under the Jeevan Saathi order, Google had asked for them to report their monthly downloads and that they would be charged a 4% commission on that,” explained a person aware of the developments. “That order has been extended to all the other petitioners as well with a correction that it will not start from May but rather from June. So the downloads for June will have to be sent to Google by July 15.”

The person cited above added that Google is expected to raise an invoice by July 20 and these companies will have to pay by July 25.

Google did not have an immediate comment to make on the matter.

Discover the stories of your interest

“As much as we have gotten the injunction, we still believe that even 4% is unfair to us at many levels,”Vinay Singhal – Co-Founder and CEO of one of the petitioners Stage, told ET. “Google doesn’t have any right to ask for our private business data just because we are listed on Playstore.”

He added that these companies pay only 1-2% to the payment gateways at this moment and that this would add an additional 4% cost without providing any services.

Sources, however, told ET that the judge’s directions for companies may be confusing.

“This is confusing for us again because of the usage of the word ‘downloads’ and not ‘subscriptions’,” another founder who did not wish to be named said. “We may have 100 downloads of which 20 take up subscriptions. So why should we pay Google for 100 downloads when we’re technically only making money off 20? There is some confusion surrounding this clause and we will only have a better idea once we read the fine print of the order.”

Stay on top of technology and startup news that matters. Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest and must-read tech news, delivered straight to your inbox.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.