India’s competition watchdog has launched an investigation into Google after some companies alleged that the service fee the US firm charges for in-app payments violates a previous antitrust directive, a regulatory order showed on Friday. seen by Reuters.
Tinder owner Match Group and Indian startups have asked the watchdog to investigate Google’s new User Choice Billing (UCB) system, which they allege is anti-competitive.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) issued an order on Friday stating that it is “of the opinion that an investigation should be conducted.”
The order is not public and Google He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In October, the ICC fined Google $113 million and said it must allow the use of third-party billing and stop forcing developers to use its in-app payment system that charges a 15% fee per month. 30%
Google later started offering UCB to allow alternative payments alongside Google’s when purchasing digital content in the app, but some companies complained that the new system still imposes a high “service fee” of 11% to 26%. .
This, Match and the Alliance of Digital India Foundation argued, meant that Google had failed to comply with the earlier antitrust directive ordering it not to impose such “unfair and disproportionate” conditions.
In its order, the watchdog asked Google to explain certain provisions related to the in-app payment system before and after UCB and provide details of policies related to the sharing of user and app developer data.
Google needs to respond in four weeks, the order said.
Google previously said that the fee for the service supports investments in the Google Play app store and the Android mobile operating system, making sure you distribute it for free and cover development tools and analytics services.
The company, which views India as a major growth market, faces other regulatory challenges, including a setback that forced it to change the way it markets its Android system.