Developers term it a “dark day” when Google eliminates some apps due to billing disputes

As a result of their noncompliance with Google’s payment policy, Indian developers’ applications were removed from the Play Store on Friday. Shaadi, TrulyMadly, Stage, Jodii, Bharat Matrimony’s Muslim Matrimony and Christian Matrimony, and Alt Balaji’s Altt
Individuals who own Android phones—the operating system powers around 95% of smartphones in use in India, according to some estimates—will not be able to look for and install these applications.

The action affects ten developers’ apps and is related to their noncompliance with Google’s billing system obligations. These obligations include paying a fee of 11% to 26% on user transactions to the company that creates the Android operating system. Some of the developers were able to avoid this charge by billing customers through their own payment gateways.

If developers wish to list on the Play Store, they must, at minimum, choose to utilize the company’s payment method. The Competition Commission of India, India’s competition watchdog, criticized the approach, but two Supreme Court rulings that turned down appeals by some of the startups effectively allowed the firm to carry on with its operations.

We are taking the required actions to make sure our policies are applied consistently across the ecosystem, as we do for any form of policy violation globally, after giving these developers more than three years to prepare, including three weeks after the Supreme Court’s order,” Google India stated in a blog post on Friday.

It was referred to as a “dark day for the Indian Internet” by Murugavel Janakiraman of Bharat Matrimony. “Today, two companies—Apple and Google—determine what people will have access to on the internet, unlike 20 years ago when government laws determined what will be on the internet,” he added. “It’s a dark day for Digital India Dream,” stated Snehil Khanor of TrulyMadly. These large technology companies now own the digital ecosystem and demand “lagaan” from us, or rent. Very few Indian businesses even generate 30% PAT, yet they demand a share of our income (30%) in order to continue growing at the price of our eventual collapse. Actually, the one breaking the CCI order is Google. We are being forced by Google to remove alternative gateways and only use their billing systems, paying them a fee of 15–30%, even though the CCI has made it plain that app developers cannot be restricted from utilizing third-party payment services or adversely affected by applications.

Obtaining temporary legal protections, 10 firms have “opted not to pay for the immense value they receive on Google Play,” according to a blog post by Google on Friday. The payment guidelines of other app shops are followed by these developers.

According to Google, “all other apps and games are at a competitive disadvantage and an uneven playing field is created across the ecosystem by allowing this small group of developers to get differential treatment from the vast majority of developers who are paying their fair share.”

Less than 60 developers on Google Play are really charged fees more than 15 percent in India, according to a blog post by Google. In fact, 16 of these individuals filed a Madras High Court challenge to this regulation.

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