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Google Pauses Mandatory Play Store Billing for App Developers in India Following CCI Ruling

Alphabet’s Google is pausing its policy that requires app developers to use its Google Play billing system for buying digital goods and services in India, following a ruling by the country’s antitrust body.

Google had previously set an extended deadline of October 31 for developers in India to comply with its payments policy.

The search engine giant should not restrict app developers from using third-party billing or payment processing services in India, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said last week, also fining Google $113 million (roughly Rs. 940 crore).

It is reviewing its legal options, as it aims to build its Android and Play services, according to a post on Google’s website seen on Tuesday.

Last month, the CCI had also asked Google to change its approach to its Android platform, slapping another $162 million (roughly Rs. 1,350 crore) for anticompetitive practices related to its operating system.

It has come under fire globally, including in South Korea, for mandating software developers using its app store to use a proprietary in-app payment system.

The blog said the requirement to use its billing system still applies for users outside of the country.

Google is planning a legal challenge to block a ruling by India’s antitrust watchdog to change its approach to its Android operating system, concerned that it will restrict how it promotes the platform, sources with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters last week.

The rulings come as Google faces increased antitrust scrutiny across the world. Last month, it suffered a major setback when a European court upheld a 2018 ruling saying it was largely confirming a decision that the company imposed “unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices.” Google plans to appeal the decision, where it faces a record $4.1 billion (nearly Rs. 33,920 crore) fine.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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