The Indian government is taking a strong stance against Google‘s recent removal of certain apps, including popular matrimonial services, from the Play Store. IT and Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw emphasized that India’s thriving startup ecosystem cannot be dictated to by “big tech” companies.
Minister Vaishnaw has scheduled a meeting next week with representatives from both Google and the affected app developers to find a solution. He stressed that the government will protect its crucial startup scene, which boasts over 100,000 startups and 100 unicorns built within a decade. “I have already called Google…I have already called the app developers who have been delisted, we will be meeting them next week. This cannot be permitted..This kind of delisting cannot be permitted,” Vaishnaw asserted.
“I will be telling Google…Our entrepreneurial energy…startups, look at the whole startup India programme, 10 years back we had practically nothing and today we have more than 1,00,000 startups, more than 100 unicorns…this is something…the energy of our youth, the energy of our entrepreneurs, energy of our talented people that has to be channelised fully well, it cannot be left to the policies of any big tech,” Vaishnaw said.
Apps delisted
This action follows Google’s decision to delist apps from 10 Indian companies, accusing them of avoiding service fees on the Play Store platform. The delisted apps reportedly include Shaadi.com, Matrimony.com, Bharat Matrimony, ALTBalaji, Kuku FM, Quack Quack, and Truly Madly.
Minister of State for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar raised concerns about Google’s dominance potentially hindering competition and harming startups. He emphasized the need to investigate if Google’s actions fall under the category of “abuse of dominance.”
What is the dispute all about
The underlying dispute centers on Google’s revised service fee structure, ranging from 11% to 26% on in-app purchases. This change came after India’s antitrust body, the CCI, directed Google to scrap its previous fee system that charged developers between 15% and 30%. Google proceeded with app removals after the Supreme Court declined to provide temporary relief to the app developers challenging Google’s fees.





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