According to India’s antitrust commission, which on Tuesday slapped Google with $113 million for anticompetitive conduct, Google shouldn’t prevent app developers from adopting third-party billing or payment processing providers.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) says that Google used its “dominant position” to force app developers to use its in-app payment system, which helps developers monetize their work. Last Thursday, the CCI fined Google $162 million for anticompetitive activities connected to its Android operating system and directed it to modify its approach to Android.
In addition to the fine, Google was ordered to implement eight remedies or operational changes within three months, including not restricting “app developers from using any third-party billing/payment processing services, either for in-app purchases or for purchasing apps,” according to the 199-page CCI order. The CCI ordered Google to communicate with app developers and disclose service prices transparently.
Key Takeaways from the CCI Statement
- Google will not prohibit app developers from using third-party billing and payment processing providers for in-app purchases.
- It will not discriminate against or otherwise penalize such apps that use third-party billing or payment processing services.
- Google’s Anti-Steering Provisions won’t stop app developers from getting in touch with users to promote their apps and products.
- It will not prohibit end users’ access to app developers’ services or features.
- Google will explain how it collects, uses, and shares data with app developers and other entities, including related businesses, in a clear and open way.
- Google shall also provide the app developer with data created by the app, subject to reasonable controls as stated in this decision.
- Google won’t make app developers follow any rules that are unfair, unreasonable, discriminatory, or excessive, including rules about prices.
- It would not discriminate against other UPI apps in India compared to its own.
Google has come under fire for requiring software developers using its app store to adopt a proprietary in-app payment system that levies commissions of up to 30% on transactions made within an app, even in South Korea. In more nations, Google has recently started to accept other payment methods.
Adding to the story, CCI said in a statement, mentions that
If the app developers do not comply with Google’s policy of using GPBS, they are not permitted to list their apps on the Play Store and thus, would lose out the vast pool of potential customers in the form of Android users. Making access to the Play Store dependent on mandatory usage of GPBS for paid apps and in-app purchases is one sided and arbitrary and devoid of any legitimate business interest.
In a statement, Google spokesperson said:
Indian developers have benefited from the technology, security, consumer protections, and unrivaled choice and flexibility that Android and Google Play provide. And, by keeping costs low, our model has powered India’s digital transformation and expanded access for hundreds of millions of Indians. We remain committed to our users and developers and are reviewing the decision to evaluate the next steps.