“Winzo app is admittedly, a gambling platform which provides users to perform financial transactions,” claimed Google before the Delhi High Court in a written statement. Google LLC, USA through its advocates filed a written statement in the case pertaining to a claim about a discriminatory practice of Google displaying a warning on Android OS devices, when users attempt to download the WinZO gaming application (.apk file) using the WinZO website.
WinZO is a member of AIGF, a self regulatory skill gaming body in India. All members will be required to abide to the skill charter of AIGF including offering skill games that do not qualify as gambling.
Google claimed that apps downloaded through Play Store do not display any warning due to certain checks adopted in the backend. Google said similar security measures are implemented by many such app stores. “The Plaintiff is admittedly, a former developer on Google Play, and currently on the Apple AppStore, and cannot be ignorant of the aforesaid measures,” read the written statement.
Google has submitted pictures of same warning that WinZO claimed to be discriminatory for applications of Microsoft Office, Candy Crush, and ICICI Bank when downloaded as .apk files from third-party websites. Google further said the warning is not unique to Chrome browser and similar warnings are displayed by Microsoft Edge, Samsung, and Xiaomi browsers. Google claimed that the rules under Information Technology Act, 2000 warrant it to deploy effective security measures including by way of warning/messaging within the system.
Google said the warning for .apk files is in implementation since past 8 years while the plaintiff WinZO is operational since 2018 only. Google claimed that the warning serves a high public interest, by informing and cautioning users whenever they download an app from unverified sources.
The next date of hearing is on 2 September 2022. Inttl Advocare is representing Google in the matter while WinZO is represented by TMT Law Practice.