Indian Firms Comply With Google Play Rules Amid Regulatory Intervention


Several Indian firms have reluctantly adhered to Google Play Store’s billing regulations to reinstate their apps, following their removal from the platform last week. The affected apps, including Shaadi,, and Bharat Matrimony, have now been reinstated, alongside others such as Naukri, 99acres, Kuku FM, Stage, Altt, and QuackQuack.

Key Takeaway

Indian firms are begrudgingly complying with Google Play rules while simultaneously seeking regulatory intervention to address the issue.

Developer Compliance

Google offers developers three options for in-app purchases: a consumption-only model without paying a service fee, utilizing Google Play’s billing system with a fee of 15% or 30%, or offering an alternative billing system with a reduced fee. While some developers have opted for the consumption-only model, others have chosen to comply with Google Play billing.

Government Intervention

Seeking government and regulatory intervention, affected developers have engaged with India’s IT Minister and the country’s antitrust watchdog. The IT Minister expressed disapproval of Google’s app delisting and is actively involved in addressing the matter. Additionally, developers have raised concerns about Google’s preferential treatment of larger companies, citing the example of Spotify’s exemption from Google Play fees.

Distribution Challenges

Startups have highlighted the financial burden of Google’s fees, particularly in driving app installs. While alternative app stores exist, they have not gained significant traction in India, posing a distribution challenge for developers. The limitations of sideloading and the nascent stage of alternative app stores further exacerbate the distribution issue.

Google’s Response

Google has defended its position, emphasizing the multiple options provided to developers for compliance. The company stated that a small number of developers in India are subject to fees above 15% and highlighted the grace period and timeline for compliance. However, protesting firms are seeking regulatory action, with some founders urging the Competition Commission for India (CCI) to intervene.

Regulatory Action

Several firms, including Info Edge and TrulyMadly, have called for regulatory intervention, citing Google’s non-compliance with earlier rulings. The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has also expressed deep concern and urged the antitrust body to intervene and restore delisted apps.

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