Indian Startups Ask antitrust Body to Order Google to Restore Apps After 'Brazen' Move

Indian Startups Ask antitrust Body to Order Google to Restore Apps After 'Brazen' Move
Photo: Gizbot 05.03.2024 489

Representatives of the startups called the removal of apps from Google Play an anti-competitive "brazen move."

A group representing Indian startups has asked the country's antitrust watchdog to order Alphabet Inc's (Google) to reinstate apps it removed for policy violations, a letter seen by Reuters shows, escalating a showdown with the U.S. giant in a key market.

Google on Friday removed more than 100 Indian apps, including popular ones by Matrimony.com, for not complying with its policy of paying a service fee when in-app payment options other than Google's are used.

The startups have now taken the issue to Competition Commission of India (CCI). The Commission has already spent months looking into startups' complaint that Google is not following a 2022 antitrust directive that prevents it from taking adverse measures against companies which use alternate billing systems. Google denies wrongdoing.

The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) in its March 1 letter to the CCI said Google's decision to remove apps was a "brazen move" which was anti-competitive and the regulator should ask the company to reverse its decision.

Startup executives on Monday met India's deputy IT minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar who told them he was concerned by the removal of the apps and that his ministry will write to Google to ensure they are reinstated, according to two people familiar with the talks.

Source: Reuters

digital markets  India 

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