Google removes some Indian matrimony apps from Play Store over fee disputes

Google initiated the removal of apps from 10 Indian companies, including popular matrimony apps such as Bharat Matrimony, on Friday, marking a critical development in an ongoing dispute over service fee payments. 

At the heart of the conflict lies the resistance of some Indian startups against Google’s imposition of a service fee ranging from 11% to 26% on in-app payments. This comes after the country’s antitrust authorities directed Google to dismantle its earlier system, which charged fees ranging from 15% to 30%. Despite two court decisions in January and February, including one by the Supreme Court, refusing relief to startups, the dispute has intensified., the parent company of popular dating apps such as Bharat Matrimony, Christian Matrimony, Muslim Matrimony, and Jodii, saw its apps being removed on Friday. The company’s founder, Murugavel Janakiraman, lamented the move as a “dark day for the Indian Internet,” stating, “Our apps are getting deleted one by one.”

Google’s notices of Play Store violations targeted Indian companies and Info Edge, which operates a similar app called Jeevansathi. Both companies are currently reviewing the notices and contemplating their next steps, according to executives interviewed by Reuters.

Sanjeev Bikhchandani, the founder of Info Edge, emphasized that the company had promptly settled all outstanding Google invoices and remained compliant with the tech giant’s policies.

In response, Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., defended its actions in a blog post, pointing out that 10 Indian companies had chosen not to pay for the “immense value they receive on Google Play” for an extended period. The company refrained from disclosing the names of the companies involved but asserted that neither courts nor regulators had contested Google Play’s right to charge fees. 

Google responded to this development in a blog post, stating, “After providing these developers with over three years of preparation time, including three weeks following the Supreme Court’s directive, we are taking essential measures to ensure the consistent application of our policies across the ecosystem, akin to any global policy violation. Enforcement of our policy, when deemed necessary, may involve the removal of non-compliant apps from Google Play.”

Additionally, Google highlighted the Supreme Court’s refusal on February 9 to interfere with its right to implement these fees. The standoff between Google and Indian startups continues, raising questions about the future dynamics of app development and distribution in the country.

Written by Jordan Bevan


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The 11 Best Superhero Games

Meta to sunset Facebook News in the U.S. and Australia in April