The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has released the preliminary findings of an investigation into Google, its app store and its payment system not providing an alternative way to conduct transactions within the Android software.
The agency decided that linking applications is only possible with a payment service “unfair and discriminatory”. Back in 2020, Google delayed rolling out its massive (30%) microtransaction fee for Indian developers in response to massive dissatisfaction among local startups. The commission at the level of “world standards” should return in the coming month, but in the past the developers managed to win government support. The arguments are very simple: since the Play Store is pre-installed on Android smartphones, Google has an unfair advantage over other payment systems.
Of particular concern in India is the possibility that Google Pay will come at the expense of the national UPI (Unified Payments Interface) system, which allows users to work directly with their bank accounts using external virtual addresses. The antitrust authority has not yet completed its investigation into Google – as a result, the company may face a fine or a change in policy. The search giant, meanwhile, has warned that all Indian developers must ensure integration with Google Pay by October 2022.