Google to be Investigated by CCI in India for App Payment Breaches After Complaints From Startups

Internet search giant Google is being investigated in India for allegedly using unfair practices around in-app payments. Some startups had alleged that Google was violating the previous directive of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) regarding payments in the app.

According to a Reuters report, some startups in the country have requested the CCI to investigate Google’s new User Choice Billing System (UCB). Google Those complaining also include Match Group, which runs the dating site Tinder. They allege that Google’s payment system is anti-competitive. CCI has issued an order saying that it believes that an inquiry needs to be done in this regard. This order has not been made public. Reuters has seen this order. Google has not commented on this.

About 97 percent of the 600 million smartphones in the country run on Android. In Europe, this figure is about 75 percent for about 550 million smartphones. CCI In October last year, the US company Alphabet, which runs Google, was fined about $ 161 million for abusing its dominant position in the Android market. The CCI also asked the company to change the way it markets its Android system. The CCI had directed the company not to impose any condition which is unfair or discriminatory to the app developers.

Recently, Shark Tank India judge and businessman Anupam Mittal termed Google’s billing system as “illegal” and called Alphabet, which runs it, a ‘Digital East India Company’. He had said that Google has violated the laws of the country. Along with this, Mittal expressed hope that the issue would be looked into by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Google has earlier also been accused of violating CCI orders and charging 11-26 per cent commission from app developers opting for alternative billing systems.

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