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April 4, 2022

India’s antitrust regulator accuses Google of unfairly blocking rival payments on India store

India’s antitrust regulator has accused tech giant Google of unfairly blocking rival payment providers on its India app store, reported Bloomberg News.

The initial findings of an investigation by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) found that the US tech giant discriminated against developers in its Play store billing policy.

A month-long investigation was launched by CCI after developers complained about Google imposing a high fee for using Android app stores and its in-house payments service.

Previously, Google reduced app makers’ fees in South Korea by 4% after being forced by the country’s regulators to provide an alternative billing system.

According to CCI’s initial report, Google has been ‘imposing unfair and discriminatory conditions in violation’ of regulations.

 “Google’s conduct is also resulting in denial of market access to competing UPI apps since the market for UPI enabled digital payment apps is multi-sided, and the network effects will lead to a situation where Google Pay’s competitors will be completely excluded from the market in the long run,” CCI stated in the report seen by Bloomberg News.

Representatives for the antitrust agency didn’t comment on the news.

Google told the news agency in a statement: “We will continue to engage with the CCI and demonstrate that our practices benefit Indian consumers and developers, without in any way restricting competition.”

Google generally charges a 30% commission for a majority of app store purchases and subscriptions globally. But this fee was reduced to 15% for media providers in recent years.

Besides Google, Apple is also facing similar investigations globally for forcing developers to use their payment systems and charging high fees.

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