ADIF moves CCI against Google Play Store policy
The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) has filed a petition before the Competition Commission of India (CCI) through its lawyers at Sarvada Legal seeking interim relief from Google’s new Playstore policy, which comes into effect from March. The matter is already being looked into by the CCI for potential abuse of dominance by Google in the app market. This relief has been sought by ADIF on behalf of app developers as Google’s new policy will force certain categories of apps to only use Google Billing System (GBS) for payments. This is an issue for app developers because GBS charges 30 per cent commission for all transactions on Playstore, said a statement from ADIF.
Murugavel Janakiraman, the founder and CEO of Matrimony.com, said: “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.”
In its petition, ADIF has stated the commission charged by Google is extremely high and unfair. However, the organisation said that the core issue is the mandatory imposition of the GBS. “ADIF foresees that barring an order passed by this Commission to maintain status quo until the completion of the ongoing inquiry, Google shall proceed to enforce its terms on the Playstore,” said Sijo Kuruvilla George, executive director, ADIF. Google did not respond on the issue.