Connect with us


Google delists Indian apps from Play Store for non-compliance with billing policies



Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, sent notices on Friday of Play Store violations to and Info Edge. (Reuters)

Google Friday delisted over a dozen popular Indian apps from its Play Store citing non-compliance with its billing policies. These apps include hiring platform Naukri, matrimony services Shaadi and Bharat Matrimony, audio storytelling platforms Kuku FM, Alt Balaji’s Altt, dating platform TrulyMadly, and real-estate manager 99acres.

This marks a major escalation in the souring relationship between the Internet giant and some Indian app developers, who have opposed its policy of charging 11-26 per cent commission on in-app payments. But decisions by the Madras High Court and the Supreme Court earlier this year effectively gave Google the green light to charge the fee or remove the apps.

Developers now face a major dent to their business for the time they are offline — Google dominates the Indian market with over 90 per cent of phones based on its Android platform. Bharat Matrimony’s founder Murugavel Janakiraman called it a “dark day” for the country’s start-up ecosystem, while KukuFM’s founder called Google the “most evil company in the world”.

“…for an extended period of time, 10 companies, including many well-established ones, have chosen to not pay for the immense value they receive on Google Play by securing interim protections from court. These developers comply with payment policies of other app stores,” Google said in a blog post on Friday, hours before it started delisting the applications. Officially, the company has not named the apps it has taken down from Google Play. But a number of them were unavailable on the platform at the time of publication.

A source aware of the internal discussions in Google over the decision said after the company’s blog post went live on Friday, its review team scanned the applications and they were found to be non-compliant with its billing policy — after which they were pulled from the Play Store. The source also explained what the company believes to be non-compliance by these apps — they have not deployed payments systems that can bifurcate the commission that Google charges per in-app payment in real time. It is understood that Google and developers of the apps listed on its Play Store typically follow a monthly cycle of payment reconciliation.

Sanjeev Bikhchandani of InfoEdge, which owns Naukri and 99Acres, said in a TV interview: “The notice [from Google] does not say they were being delisted. It says if you are non-compliant then you will be delisted. We have been compliant since February 9 the date the Supreme Court order came out. There are no pending invoices of Google with us. All have been paid in a timely manner.”

Lobby group Internet and Mobile Association of India “advised” Google not to remove any apps from Google Play.

Without mentioning names, the industry lobby confirmed that at least four of its members had received delisting notices from Google. “The affected members of IAMAI are of the view that a substantive hearing of the case is pending before the Supreme Court of India, and Google should not take any coercive action during the pendency of the case,” it added.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *