Committed to users, reviewing CCI decision to evaluate next steps: Google

The CCI has fined Google ₹936.44 crore accusing the company of abusing its dominant position through its Play Store policies

Updated - October 26, 2022 10:55 pm IST

Published - October 26, 2022 01:23 pm IST

The CCI fined Google ₹936.44 crore on Tuesday accusing the company of abusing its dominant position through its Play Store policies

The CCI fined Google ₹936.44 crore on Tuesday accusing the company of abusing its dominant position through its Play Store policies | Photo Credit: Reuters

A day after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) slapped a penalty of ₹936.44 crore on Google, the company on Wednesday said it was reviewing the decision to evaluate the next steps.

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“Indian developers have benefited from the technology, security, consumer protections, and unrivalled choice and flexibility that Android and Google Play provide. And, by keeping costs low, our model has powered India's digital transformation and expanded access for hundreds of millions of Indians,” a Google spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added, “We remain committed to our users and developers and are reviewing the decision to evaluate the next steps."

The CCI on Tuesday imposed a penalty of ₹936.44 crore on Google for “abusing its dominant position with respect to its Play Store policies”, in the second such penalty on the internet giant within a week. The antitrust regulator had on October 20 slapped a fine of ₹1,337.76 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position in multiple markets in the Android mobile device ecosystem.

The regulator also issued a cease-and-desist order, while directing Google to modify its conduct within three months. Pointing out that Play Store is by far the largest app marketplace connecting app developers with users on Android ecosystem, the CCI said Google’s control over Play Store gives it the power to dictate terms to app developers, and compel them to mandatorily use its own payment system — Google Play's Billing System (GPBS).

‘One-sided’

Google requires application developers to use GPBS not only for receiving payments for apps distributed through the Google Play Store but also for certain purchases made by users of apps after they have downloaded the app. The CCI termed this policy “one-sided” and “arbitrary and devoid of any legitimate business interest”. Additionally, Google does not use GPBS for its own applications i.e., YouTube.

Also Read | Explained | CCI’s ₹1,300 crore fine on Google and how that will change Android smartphones

The CCI noted that if the app developers do not comply with Google’s policy of using GPBS, they are not permitted to list their apps on the Play Store and thus, would lose out the vast pool of potential customers in the form of Android users.

The issue of Google requiring apps to use its own billing system was first raised by a group of start-up founders, including Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma, towards the end of 2020. Paytm took the fight against the U.S.-based technology giant a step further by announcing the launch of its own application story to “support Indian developers” in taking their products to the masses.

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