India’s antitrust body the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has reportedly ordered an investigation into Google’s payment app ‘Google Pay’.
Alphabet’s Google is facing allegations that the company is misusing its market position to promote its payments app, Reuters reported.
Back in May 2020, CCI was probing Google for unfairly promoting its payments app and hurting competition.
It was alleged that Google inked agreements with smartphone makers to have the Google Pay app pre-installed in the devices, the report added.
The competition authority, in its 39-page order, said that this move might “disturb the level playing field” and should be investigated.
Additionally, it is being alleged that Google is forcing its app developers to use its Google Play Store’s in-app billing system and pay a 30% commission starting from 31 March 2022.
In its order, the regulator said that this move “restricts the choice available to the app developers” and added that this complaint should be investigated as well.
As a result, CCI has handed over the case – filed by an anonymous informant – to its investigation arm.
On the contrary, Google said that its billing system helps ensure its continued investment “in the many important things needed to make developers successful.”
In addition to this case, Google faces many more antitrust challenges in India including abusing its smart TV market dominance and its mobile operating system (OS) Android.
The CCI, however, said that investigating these allegations against Google Pay has no merit.
Google added that it remains confident that CCI will find Google Pay to operate in an “extremely competitive environment”.
Google’s Android OS runs 99% of 500 million smartphones in India, according to Reuters.