Are Google's Recent Actions Against Indian Apps Justified Under Its Billing Policy?

Google has removed more than a dozen popular Indian apps from its Play Store, citing failure to comply with its billing policies. Among the delisted apps are well-known platforms like Naukri, Shaadi, and Bharat Matrimony, as well as Kuku FM, Alt Balaji, TrulyMadly, and 99acres.

Growing Tension in Google-Indian Developer Relationship:
The removal of these apps signals a significant escalation in the strained relationship between Google and some Indian app developers. Disagreements have arisen over Google's policy of charging commissions ranging from 11% to 26% on in-app payments. Despite legal challenges earlier this year, Google has been given the authority to enforce these fees or remove non-compliant apps.

Impact on Developers and Market Dominance:
For developers, the delisting poses a substantial setback as Google's Android platform holds over 90% of the Indian market. Murugavel Janakiraman, founder of Bharat Matrimony, described it as a "dark day" for the country's startup ecosystem, while the founder of Kuku FM labeled Google as the "most evil company in the world."

Google's Response and Explanation:
In response, Google stated that numerous developers had chosen not to pay for the value they receive on Google Play, opting instead for legal protections. The company emphasized that these developers do not comply with payment policies observed by other app stores.

Internal Process and Apparent Non-Compliance:

Google's internal review team reportedly identified non-compliance with its billing policy, leading to the removal of the apps from the Play Store. The non-compliance centered on the apps' failure to deploy payment systems capable of separating Google's commission from in-app payments in real-time.

Industry Response and Ongoing Legal Proceedings:
Industry stakeholders, including the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), have urged Google to refrain from removing apps while legal proceedings are underway. Despite some apps being compliant since February 9, IAMAI asserts that a substantial hearing is pending before the Supreme Court of India and that Google should not take coercive action during this period.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form