Google goes ahead with in-app billing policy in India and insists on watchdog compliance

Google said on Wednesday that its Google Play payments policy complies with the Indian watchdog order and is moving forward with plans to enforce the policy in the South Asian market, weeks after some developers tried to suspend the billing rate system in the Google application, alleging that it did not comply with the directive of the control body.

“In 2020, we clarified our Payments policy requirements and developers in India have had considerable time to make the necessary changes to their apps. We respectfully follow CCI’s October 2022 order, and in compliance with that order, we have expanded user option billing to all developers in India and updated our policy which is effective from April 26, 2023,” he said. the company. wrote in a blog post.

Google said the service fee it collects from developers allows it to fund the large investments it has made in growing India’s app ecosystem. The company insisted that its fees (15% or lower for most developers) are the lowest of any major app store and a 4% reduction in that fee for those who implement an alternative billing system.” It pretty much reflects that the Google Play billing system has not been used.”

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

In India, a key foreign market for Google where the company has deployed more than $10 billion, developers will have three billing options: Google Play’s billing system, an alternative billing system alongside Google Play’s, and pay for consumption only without paying a service fee. . Google will begin notifying developers about the change, the deadline for which expired last month, he said.

In October, India’s Competition Commission fined Google $113 million and ordered the Android maker to give developers the option 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 imposes a “high service fee” of 11% or more on those who don’t use its payment system.

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

Wednesday’s update follows the owner of Tinder, Match and the Alliance of Digital India Foundation, the aforementioned group that represents some Indian startups, asking an Indian court to suspend Google’s new in-app billing fee system until that the Competition Commission of India had an opportunity to assess whether Google was complying with its previous directive.

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


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