CCI Probe Finds Google abused Android dominance


The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) has filed a petition earlier than the Competition Commission of India (CCI) by way of their attorneys at Sarvada Legal searching for interim aid from Google’s new PlayStore coverage which works into impact from March 2022. The matter is already being appeared into by the CCI for potential abuse of dominance by Google within the app market. 

This aid has been sought by ADIF on behalf of App builders as Google’s new coverage will limit sure classes of apps to make use of solely Google Billing System (GBS) for accepting funds. This could be a problem for app builders as a result of GBS expenses 30% fee for all transactions on the Google Play Store, in comparison with 2% charged by different fee processing programs. There is a powerful case for searching for such aid as this new coverage, when it goes into impact subsequent March, would have a damaging impact on the working margins of a lot of startups and make their enterprise fashions infeasible.

The CCI had in November 2020 directed a probe by the Director General into the problem of obligatory use of Google Play Store’s fee system for paid apps & in-app purchases. The fee is of the prima facie view that such a coverage is unfair because it restricts the flexibility of app builders to pick out a fee processing system of their alternative.

In its petition to the fee, ADIF, which represents the pursuits of varied stakeholders comparable to startups, app builders, and so on. and espouses the target of enhancing the startup ecosystem of the nation, has said that the 30% fee charged by Google is extraordinarily excessive and unfair. However, the group mentioned that the core concern is the obligatory imposition of the Google Play Billing system and the exclusion of different strategies of fee.

“This will have a disastrous effect on India’s digital ecosystem by reducing choices available in the hands of app developers and users as well as harming the country’s innovation ecosystem by disrupting the cost structures and margins of multiple industries,” it mentioned.

While ADIF will help the continued inquiry by the Director General into the matter, it has been compelled to maneuver the applying for interim aid to guard the selection of app builders to make use of different fee programs with way more favorable phrases of service. Google’s new coverage will exclude competing fee service suppliers from the marketplace for funds for digital items consumed by way of Android gadgets. 

“ADIF foresees that barring an order passed by this Hon’ble Commission to maintain  status-quo until the completion of the ongoing inquiry, Google shall proceed to enforce its terms on the Play Store, thereby leading to adverse and irreversible consequences on India’s fledgling startup ecosystem,” mentioned Sijo Kuruvilla George, Executive Director, Alliance of Digital India Foundation.

Murugavel Janakiraman, the Founder and CEO of Matrimony.com, mentioned: “The matter is not as much about the percentage of commission charged as it is about the anti-competitive practice of forcing a payment option as well as of forcing out other payment providers. If not kept in check, such anti-competitive policies and gatekeeper commissions will be imposed on more and more categories, causing a disastrous effect on competition and prices in India.”

ADIF believes that if the established order shouldn’t be maintained pending the completion of the inquiry, Google will implement its phrases on the Play Store in March 2022, resulting in irreversible penalties for India’s startup ecosystem.




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