CCI opens investigation into Google in-app payments

CCI opens investigation into Google in-app payments

Google’s in-app payment policies are once again under scrutiny from India’s competition authorities.

Reuters reports that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has opened a 60-day investigation after local start-up companies alleged that they are treated unfavourably by Google.

At the start of this month, Google removed around 100 locally developed apps from its Play Store, arguing that the ten companies which had created the apps had violated its policies surrounding in-app payments. Following pushback from IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF), the CCI ordered Google to reinstate the apps, but the matter has not yet been resolved.

Google’s policies have drawn the attention of the CCI in the past, with the watchdog looking into allegations that Google was abusing the market dominance of Android and the Play Store back in 2020.

In late 2022, the investigation resulted in the CCI issuing Google with a fine of INR13.4 billion ($161.7 million) and ordering the firm to implement changes to its business model, including lifting restrictions on device manufacturers and reducing the fees associated with in-app payments. While some of these directives were rescinded by a tribunal in March 2023, in June that year Google petitioned India’s Supreme Court to rescind the remaining orders.

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