In crackdown, here is why Google removed 10 Indian apps from Play Store; check list too

In a recent development, Google India has taken action against 10 Indian mobile applications, including popular ones like Bharat Matrimony, Info Edge’s 99acres, and Naukri.com, by removing them from the Google Play Store. The move comes as a result of a dispute over service fee payments imposed by Google on in-app transactions – these companies were not paying what the Play Store wanted.

The move has sparked a huge controversy with Sanjeev Bikhchandani, the founder of InfoEdge, even going as far as calling for the creation of an Indian mobile application store as part of the ‘Digital Public Infrastructure’ as a rival to the Google Play Store, which dominates the market here.

Due to these alleged violations of payment rules, the tech giant issued notices to the firms behind some prominent sites, such as Jeevansathi and Matrimony.com. After citing non-compliance with payment regulations, Google initiated action against them. In a blog post, Google highlighted that 10 established companies in India had not paid the required fees despite using the platform and that they had been given a 3-year period to set things right.

Why is Google taking down Indian apps from the Play Store?

The dispute revolves around resistance from Indian startups against Google’s imposition of a service fee ranging from 11-26 percent on in-app payments. Google, having obtained legal immunity, took action against these firms following court decisions in January and February. The court directed against granting relief to startups in fee payment matters. Notably, Google received the go-ahead to charge the fee or remove apps after these 2 court decisions, one by the Supreme Court. However, Google did not identify the firms.

According to a Reuters report, the conflict stems from efforts by Indian startups to challenge Google’s fee structure, as ordered by the country’s antitrust authorities. The authorities had previously directed Google to dismantle its system of charging 15-30 percent on in-app payments.

Matrimony.com founder Murugavel said it was a dark day for India’s internet. “Our apps are getting deleted one by one. It literally means all the top matrimony services will be deleted,” he added.

Which Indian apps has Google delisted from the Play Store?

The delisted apps include not only Bharat Matrimony but also Info Edge’s 99acres and Naukri.com, along with Shaadi.com, Truly Madly, QuackQuack, Stage, Altt by Balaji Telefilms, and Kuku FM. Google defended its action, stating that it had given the companies over three years to prepare and had taken necessary steps after the Supreme Court’s order.

In response, Info Edge founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani claimed that the company had paid all pending Google invoices on time and followed its policies. Bikhchandani stressed the need for India to have its own App Store/Play Store integrated into the Digital Public Infrastructure, similar to UPI and ONDC.

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