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Google makes policy change in line with CCI direction

Google has announced changes to its Android and Play policies, to fall in line with CCI directives

January 26, 2023 10:01 am | Updated 12:58 pm IST

File photo of a #GoogleForIndia hashtag

File photo of a #GoogleForIndia hashtag | Photo Credit: Reuters

Google announced it would change its Android and Play policies in India in order to comply with the Competition Commission of India (CCI)’s directives, after the Supreme Court last week said it would not block the actions the CCI wanted for antitrust reasons.

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The search engine giant outlined some of the upcoming changes in a blog post on January 25. A key update is that users will have alternative billing options for apps and games from February.

“User choice billing will be available to all apps and games starting next month. Through user choice billing, developers can offer users the option to choose an alternative billing system alongside Google Play’s billing system when purchasing in-app digital content,” said Google in the blog post.

Furthermore, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will be able to license individual apps for pre-installation on devices, while Indian users will be able to select their preferred search engine when setting up a new Android device.

Partners will be able to build new variants that may not be compatible with Android, and there will be more information for users about Google Play’s service fee. The sideloaded apps and app store policy has also been updated.

“Implementation of these changes across the ecosystem will be a complex process and will require significant work at our end and, in many cases, significant efforts from partners, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and developers.,” said Google.

The company noted that it was still appealing some sections of the CCI’s decisions.

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