India’s antitrust watchdog on Tuesday fined tech-giant Google 9.36 billion rupees ($113 million) for abusing its dominant position to promote its in-app payment system, the second penalty imposed by India in a week.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) said that Google’s Play Store policies require app developers to use Google’s billing system for apps sold through the Play Store and in-app purchases made by users.
App developers will not be permitted to list their apps on the Play Store if they refuse to use Google’s billing system, resulting in them losing potential customers in the form of Android users, the CCI said in a statement.
‘Take it or Leave it’
The regulator also found that Google engages in discriminatory practices by not using its billing system for its own applications like YouTube.
“Further, Google even does not negotiate ‘service fee’ with the app developers, thus, making it [a] ‘take it or leave it’ situation for the app developers,” the CCI said in its order.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Google for comments.
The CCI ordered Google to make necessary changes to its Play Store policies within three months, including allowing app developers to use third-party billing processing services for in-app purchases and app purchases.
“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,” it stated.
The CCI also demanded that Google ensure complete transparency in communicating to app developers, services provided, and the corresponding fee charged.
Previous Anti-Trust Penalty
The $113 million fine came just a week after India fined Google $162 million for anti-competitive practices in relation to its Android operating system.
The CCI accused Google of perpetuating its dominant position in the online search market to prevent other search applications from gaining market access. It also claimed that Google secured a “significant competitive edge” over its competitors in relation to its revenue-earning app on Android devices, such as YouTube.
“The competitors of these services could never avail the same level of market access which Google secured and embedded for itself through [Mobile Application Distribution Agreement],” it said.
Aside from India, South Korea also penalized Google 207 billion won ($145 million) last year for blocking customized versions of its Android operating system. South Korea’s Personal Information Protection Commission also fined Google 69.2 billion won ($48.5 million) last month for an alleged data privacy violation.
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