Home / Software / Apps / Google reinstates Indian companies’ applications on Play Store following regulatory action

Google reinstates Indian companies’ applications on Play Store following regulatory action

Update: Google announced the restoration of all Indian firms’ apps following a meeting between the Silicon Valley company, protesting firms, and India’s IT Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw.

“Temporarily reinstating the apps of developers with appeals pending in the Supreme Court as a gesture of cooperation.” Google has the authority to uphold and execute its business model, as confirmed by multiple court rulings. We will charge the full service fees and offer extended payment timelines to these companies. In a recent statement, the company expressed anticipation for a collaborative effort to discover solutions that honor the needs of all parties.

Indian companies that had their applications removed by Google recently have reluctantly begun adhering to Play Store billing regulations in order to have their applications reinstated on the platform.

Shaadi, Matrimony.com, and Bharat Matrimony apps were reinstated on the Play Store after being removed on Friday. Additional apps that will be available are Info Edge’s Naukri and 99acres, audio storytelling apps Kuku FM and Stage, Alt Balaji’s Altt, and dating service QuackQuack.

Google provides developers with three choices for in-app purchases. One option is a consumption-only model where developers provide consumption to account holders without charging a service fee, such as Netflix. Another option is Google Play’s billing system, where developers pay Google a fee of 15% or 30%. Developers can also choose an alternative billing method that lowers the cost to Google by about 4%. Many developers are currently choosing a consumption-only model, while others are deciding to use Google Play billing.

In addition, the companies have requested assistance from the government and India’s antitrust regulator. During the weekend, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw expressed his engagement with Google and his belief that Google’s delisting of apps should not be allowed. The developers impacted will be meeting with the minister today.

Lal Chand Bisu, one of the co-founders and the CEO of Kuku FM, criticized Google for providing special treatment to major corporations such as Spotify. During the Epic vs. Google trial in the U.S. last year, it was revealed that Spotify does not pay fees on Google Play for in-app purchases due to an agreement with Google.
Issue of distribution among developers

At a recent event, startups emphasized the significant marketing costs necessary to increase app installations and expressed worries about the additional financial burden Google’s fees would impose.

Shaadi.com founder Anupam Mittal emphasized the impact of Google’s fee structure on companies’ revenue losses.

Although alternative app stores are permitted on Android, they have not achieved widespread adoption. For example, Aptoid informed me recently that it generates 500 million downloads annually worldwide. PhonePe’s recently launched Indus App Store in India is still in its early stages and may not offer a robust distribution platform for apps.

During an interview with the Hindustan Times, Murugavel Janakiraman, CEO of Bharat Matrimony, stated that sideloading is not a feasible choice for the company due to its extensive presence with over 150 apps on the Play Store.

“We cannot provide them through sideloading, as the majority of users prefer to download apps from the Play Store.” What are your thoughts on alternative app stores, such as the newly introduced Indus app store by PhonePe? Janakiraman informed the publication.

Google’s perspective
Google has maintained its position by stating that the company has offered developers various choices to adhere to its regulations. According to the company, less than 60 developers in India will be charged fees exceeding 15%.

The company stated in a blog post on Friday that while they aim to assist developers in navigating their policies and reaching practical resolutions, providing special treatment to a select group of developers could lead to an unfair advantage for them, ultimately affecting the competitiveness of other apps and games in the ecosystem.

Google mentioned that developers have a three-year period to adhere to Play Store regulations. Additionally, Google provided developers with a three-week grace period following the Supreme Court’s rejection of the plea from protesting firms to halt Google’s actions against them.

Companies pursuing regulatory measures
The companies opposing Google’s decision seek regulatory intervention. Sanjeev Bikchandani, co-founder of Info Edge, has requested the Competition Commission for India (CCI) to intervene against Google. Info Edge is known for creating apps such as Naukri for job searching and 99Acres for property listings.

On March 5, the IT Minister announced that Google had agreed to relist all the apps that were previously removed during the month.

Snehil Khanor, along with other founders of dating service TrulyMadly, stated that Google has not followed a previous CCI ruling requiring developers to have access to a third-party billing system.
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), an industry association representing Indian startups and international firms, expressed significant concern over Google’s decision to remove apps.

As per a Reuters report, Indian startups reached out to CCI on March 1, urging the antitrust body to intervene and request Google to reinstate apps that remain unavailable.

About Chambers

Check Also

With an eye on AI, Amazon adds Andrew Ng to its board. Former MTV executive McGrath will step down

If what corporate boards of directors do can show where a company wants to focus, …