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CCI to probe Google amid dispute with Indian firms over in-app billing policy

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CCI to probe Google amid dispute with Indian firms over in-app billing policy

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India’s antitrust body on Friday ordered a probe into Alphabet Inc. Google in an ongoing dispute with local startups over its in-app billing system, saying the US company implemented its policies in a “discriminatory manner”.

Indian startups have been at loggerheads with Google for months over fees charged for in-app payments.

The controversy escalated earlier this month when Google removed more than 100 Indian apps from its app store for billing violations, though it reinstated them after the Indian government intervened.

The startups had asked the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to look into the matter and the watchdog ordered an investigation on Friday, saying: “Google is enforcing its policies in a discriminatory manner”.

The CCI also directed its investigation unit to complete the investigation within 60 days.

“We are examining the CCI’s order to initiate an investigation,” a Google spokesperson told Reuters in an emailed response, adding that the company would “fully cooperate” with the process.

The dispute centers on efforts by some Indian startups to prevent Google from charging 11% to 26% on app payments, after the country’s antitrust authorities plan to charge it 15% to 30% in 2022. was ordered to be terminated.

Google denies wrongdoing and says it charges a fee to support investments in the Google Play app store and the Android mobile operating system, while ensuring it distributes it for free.

The CCI has spent months considering startups’ complaints that Google is not following an earlier antitrust directive that bars it from taking adverse actions against companies that use alternative billing systems.

© Thomson Reuters 2024


(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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