Indian Startups meet CCI over alleged 'anti-competitive' policies by Google
A few Indian startups complained to anti-trust regulatory body Competition Commission of India (CCI) alleging 'anti-competitive' policies by Google. According to the startups that approached the CCI, Google has a dominant position in app discovery and distribution in India.
Founders of 15 Indian startups held a virtual meeting with Competition Commission of India (CCI) following the recent imposition of Play Store billing on Indian developers. During the discussions, the founders also highlighted about 30% commission that Google charges for selling digital goods and services.
Among those present at the meeting included the founders of Bharat Matrimony, Map My India, Truly Madly and nCore Games.
According to the entrepreneurs, Google's operating system Android comes pre-loaded with Play Store which gives it an inherent advantage. They complained that owing to its domination in app-discovery and distribution, developers are forced to make and change apps based on its OS and app store adding that the company's "arbitrary policies" are testimony to this.
It was alleged that Google has the leverage because more than 95% of Indian internet users access it through Google which has an "unfair advantage" owing to its own OS and Play Store over other operating systems and app stores.
These start-ups also plan to collectively file a written complaint to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and Competition Commission of India after taking views of the industry.
It may be noted that Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple are facing accusations of abusing their dominant position to their advantage in the United States.
Paytm, launched a mini app store as part of its efforts to support Indian developers and compete against tech giant Google after a recent ban by Google over the violation of its betting policies in India. Paytm said that it will also invest Rs. 10 crore for the app developers on its platform. According to Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma – Paytm Founder this move would assist people who want to build mini-apps on the platform and will have an equity investment. He added that the investment terms will be one of the most lenient investment terms.
Google is already under scrutiny in India on accusations of abusing Android OS' dominant position in the smart television market