Google’s Googley For India

Google suspends the implementation of Play billing for app developers in India days after the CCI ruling.

After receiving a fine from the CCI for its Play Store policies, Google has decided to halt the implementation of its Google Play billing system for Indian-based app developers.

For app developers based in India, Google is delaying the implementation of its Google Play billing system. This deadline, October 31, 2022, passed without being met by Indian app developers yesterday.

After receiving two antitrust decisions from the Competition Commission of India against it, Google has now decided to suspend this requirement (CCI).

In response to the CCI’s recent decision, Google says on its support page that it is “pausing this enforcement of the requirement for developers to use Google Play’s billing system for the purchase of digital goods and services for transactions by users in India while we review our legal options and ensure we can continue to invest in Android and Play.”

It’s interesting to note on the support page that even though Google Play Billing is no longer required in India, it “applies for in-app digital content purchases for users outside of India.”

Meaning that if Indian app developers still wish to offer digital content for purchase to users outside the country, they will need to comply with the Play billing system.

Developers in India have long called this billing system requirement an unfair policy, adding that the commission system stifles innovation in a price-sensitive market such as India.

The regulatory body has imposed two fines on Google so far. While one penalty is worth Rs 936.44 crore for abusing its dominant market position with respect to its Play Store policies, the second was worth Rs 1,338 crore for abusing its dominant position in multiple categories related to the Android ecosystem.

Google had extended the deadline for the requirements of the payment system in India in 2021 “due to unique circumstances with the payments landscape” in the country.

The page goes on to note, “This deadline was further extended to October 31, 2022, to provide developers in India the required product support for recurring payments through convenient user payment systems, including UPI and wallets, and to also provide them more time in light of the changes to India’s recurring digital payments guidelines.”

About Google Play Billing system..

Google Play’s billing system is a compulsory requirement for developers who wish to offer in-app content for purchase.

This is similar to how developers need to use Apple’s billing systems if they wish to sell goods or offer subscriptions to users. Both Google and Apple charge developers a commission ( 15 to 30 per cent) for the digital goods sold via apps.