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Google continues with in-app billing policies in India and pushes for watchdog compliance


Google said Wednesday that Google Play’s payment policies are in line with the Indian watchdog’s order and that it is continuing plans to enforce the policy in the South Asian market, weeks after some developers tried to hack the company’s in-app billing system. Suspend Google. did not comply with the watchdog guideline.

“In 2020, we clarified our payment policy requirements and developers in India have had plenty of time to make the necessary changes to their apps. We are respectfully following the order of the October 2022 CCI, and in line with that order, we have expanded user choice billing to all developers in India and have updated our policy which came into effect on April 26, 2023,” the company said. . wrote in a blog post.

Google said the service fees it receives from developers enable it to fund the large investments it has made for the growth of the Indian app ecosystem. The company insisted that its fees – 15% lower for most developers – are the lowest of any major app store and a 4% cut on that fee for those implementing an alternate billing system. used.”

Fewer than 60 of the more than 200,000 Indian developers on Google Play could currently afford a service fee of more than 15%, Google said, citing its own estimates.

In India, a key overseas market for Google, where the company has committed more than $10 billion, developers have three billing options: Google Play’s billing system, an alternative billing system to Google Play’s, and pay only on a consumption basis with no service fees to pay . Google will notify developers of the change, the deadline for which expired last month, it said.

The Competition Commission of India fined Google $113 million in October and instructed the Android maker to give developers the choice of using third-party billing systems in the country. A body representing a group of developers in India has argued that Google’s new system still charges a “heavy service fee” of 11% or more to those who don’t use the payment system.

“Most developers worldwide have already chosen one of these routes. Now that the Indian deadline has passed, we are informing developers in the country who have not yet implemented any of these options that we will take the necessary steps to ensure that our policies are applied fairly. We will continue to comply with local laws and cooperate with local procedures, as appropriate,” Google said.

Wednesday’s update follows Tinder owner Match and the Alliance of Digital India Foundation, the aforementioned group representing some Indian startups, asking an Indian court to suspend Google’s new in-app billing system until the Competition Commission of Indian has had a chance to assess whether Google complied with its earlier guidance.

Last week, India’s Competition Commission confirmed it had launched an investigation, Reuters reported.

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