India’s competition regulator wants an inquiry into Google’s in app payment fees -Reuters

According to a regulatory order reported by Reuters today, the Competition Commission of India said that an inquiry is necessary to examine the claims that Google’s high service fees on app developers violate its previous directive.

Earlier last month, Tinder-maker Match Group and several Indian startups urged the CCI to launch an investigation into Google for not complying with its recent antitrust order.

Last October, the country’s competition regulator imposed two separate fines of $161 million and $113 million on Google for abusing its dominance in the Android ecosystem. The CCI ordered the tech giant to ease its limitations on device makers concerning pre-installed apps, and said it must let developers offer alternative payment options within their apps. 

While Google initially said the order would stall its growth in India and attempted to challenge the decision, it eventually agreed to roll out changes to its business in the country after the Supreme Court rejected its plea.

As part of the changes, Google said it would start allowing original equipment manufacturers to “license individual Google apps for pre-installation”, and mobile users to choose their preferred search engine when setting up their smartphones and tablets for the first time.

The Android-maker also launched its ”User Choice Billing” program in the country, which lets developers offer a third-party payment system for in-app purchases along with its own system.

‘’Google’s policy change of a charging service fee even on transactions processed by third-party payment processors … has detrimental consequences for users and app developers,’’ said the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) last month. “The app developers will have to pay 1%-3% for alternate payment service providers and 11%-26% to Google, which makes the entire ecosystem unsustainable. The policy of UCB is unfair and the same would lead to unjust enrichment to Google.

Written by Tuna Cetin


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