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India Startups Want Wachdog To Probe Google’s In-App Billing Fees

 |  April 6, 2023

Several startups in India have requested an investigation by the country’s competition watchdog into Google for reportedly violating antitrust rules by imposing a high service fee for in-app payments, according to a filed document.

The filing by the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) represents a recent conflict between Google and Indian startups who have expressed concerns about the US company’s perceived imposition of unfair business restrictions that negatively impact smaller players.

“Google’s policy change of charging service fee even on transactions processed by third-party payment processors … has detrimental consequences for users and app developers,” the 15-page confidential March complaint by ADIF said.

Read more: Indian Court Upholds Google’s Antitrust Fine

Google did not provide a comment but has stated in the past that the service fee helps fund investments for the Google Play app store and the Android mobile operating system. This ensures that the distribution of these services remains free and covers expenses for developer tools and analytic services.

The Competition Commission of India fined Google $113 million and mandated the use of third-party billing, while also prohibiting the company from compelling developers to use its in-app payment system that imposes a commission of 15 percent to 30 percent.