The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) on Thursday claimed that Google is blatantly disobeying the Competition Commission of India (CCI) orders in Bharat, charging app developers an exorbitant 11-26 per cent commission.
Google recently changed its billing requirement for app developers wherein it has mentioned that if a user pays through an alternate billing system, the Google plays service fee will be reduced by 4 per cent.
While an alternative billing system will be permitted by Google, it will continue charging service fees from the developers which will be 4 per cent less than the normal service which it would charge if the user had availed of Google Play’s Billing System (GPBS) option – meaning the commission rate under user choice would be 11 per cent or 26 per cent, as the case may be, said the ADIF.
“Therefore, despite not using any service from Google, app developers will be forced to pay commissions to Google,” it said in a statement.
The change claimed by Google is in response to regulatory developments in Bharat, which refers to the CCI orders.
“This is nothing but another blatant attempt by Google to evade its obligation under the law and while Google claims that these changes are ostensibly in response to the regulatory development, the said change is in gross violation of the remedies mentioned in the CCI Order,” said the ADIF.
The CCI in October last year imposed a penalty of Rs 936.44 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position with respect to its Play Store policies, apart from issuing a cease-and-desist order. The Commission also directed Google to modify its conduct within a defined timeline.
According to the ADIF, despite not using any service of Google, app developers will be forced to pay commissions to Google.
“This is a clear violation of a specific direction of the CCI that Google shall not impose any condition (including price related condition) on app developers, which is unfair, unreasonable, discriminatory, or disproportionate to the services provided to the app developers,” said the ADIF, the policy think-tank focusing on Bharatiya digital startups.
“Further, there is absolutely no transparency as to why Google will charge 11-26 per cent even when the user avails of a third-party processing service,” it added.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea by Google seeking modification of the court’s January 19 order, and asked the tech giant to raise its objections before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).
In January, the apex court had declined to entertain a plea by Google challenging an NCLAT order, which refused to stay operation of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) order imposing Rs 1,337.76 crore fine on the tech giant.
(This article has been published via a syndicated feed with minor edits to conform to HinduPost style guide)