The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF), a tech industry grouping, has filed a petition before India’s antitrust regulator seeking interim relief against US-based tech giant Google’s new Play Store policy, which takes effect from April next year.
According to ADIF, Google’s policy will see developers paying 30 per cent fee to the search giant, compared to 2 per cent charged by other payment processing systems. The group says the new policy will have a “destructive effect on the operating margins of a large number of startups and make their business models infeasible.” In its petition, They has said that the policy will have “a disastrous effect on India’s digital ecosystem by reducing choices available in the hands of app developers and users as well as harming the country’s innovation ecosystem by disrupting the cost structures and margins of multiple industries.”
“The matter is not as much about the percentage of commission charged as it is about the anti-competitive practice of forcing a payment option as well as of forcing out other payment providers. If not kept in check, such anti-competitive policies and gatekeeper commissions will be imposed on more and more categories, causing a disastrous effect on competition and prices in India,” Murugavel Janakiraman, founder and CEO of Matrimony.com, said in a statement.
“We don’t want the commission to come down from 30% to, say, 15%. We just want to have all the options open. That’s the change we are seeking and have told Google in private conversations as well,” the founder of a top startup unicorn said.