Google India Faces Second Major Setback, Fined Rs 936 Crore Over Play Store Policies

Google Tuesday has been hit with a second major penalty in India in less than a week by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). Earlier, Google was found guilty of violating anti-competitive practices with its dominant position in the mobile OS segment with Android in the country.

Now, the search engine giant has been penalised for its anti-trust policies where app developers are mandatorily asked to push for payments via the Google Play Billing System (GPBS). The penalty has gone up to Rs 936 crore for its latest malpractice, which has been ordered by the anti-trust body in India.

The order also states that Google holds a strong control over developers, who bypass its payment system and their apps are delisted from the Play Store, making them unavailable to billions of smartphone users in the country. Google has been found guilty of various provisions by the CCI.

The system has been found to be used for payment of apps and also to make any in-app purchases. Google does not allow these developers to bypass the GPBS mechanism and offer a direct link to a webpage to make the payment outside of Google’s Play Store jurisdiction.

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The order further adds that Google should allow and not restrict app developers from using third-party payment systems. It also has to lay out transparency in terms of the data collected on its platform. And yes, Google is not supposed to restrict other apps from relying on payments through UPI via its own UPI app, in any manner.

The latest setback for Google comes just a few days after the company was issued another order by the CCI.

The competition watchdog on Thursday slapped a steep penalty of Rs 1,337.76 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position in multiple markets in relation to Android mobile devices and ordered the internet major to cease and desist from various unfair business practices. The company termed the order a “major setback” for Indian consumers and businesses.

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