The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has reportedly found Google’s app billing to be “unfair and discriminatory”. That’s according to a new report on Bloomberg citing reviewed documents regarding the matter. The update comes after CCI’s investigation in response to complaints from developers.
CCI Finds Google’s Billing System ‘Unfair and Discriminatory’
“Google’s conduct is also resulting in denial of market access to competing UPI apps since the market for UPI enabled digital payment apps is multi-sided, and the network effects will lead to a situation where Google Pay’s competitors will be completely excluded from the market in the long run,” said CCI, according to the report.
To recall, CCI started the investigation after over 200 startup founders started discussions with the government to stop the 30% cut Google receives on in-app purchases. The development happens months after Fortnite maker Epic Games sued Google for its app store policies.
Although CCI didn’t comment on the report, Google issued Bloomberg a statement on the allegations. “We will continue to engage with the CCI and demonstrate that our practices benefit Indian consumers and developers, without in any way restricting competition,” Google said in the statement.
With that said, it’s worth mentioning that Google started a pilot program last month to let developers choose their own billing systems for customers, in addition to what Google offers. However, it is still in the nascent stages and is limited to a small audience now, with Spotify being the first company to join in. We will have to wait to see if Google would expand the program to India in response to the antitrust watchdog’s report.