November 1, 2022 – Google has halted the enforcement of its payment policies that required app developers in India to use the company’s Google Play billing system for purchase of digital goods and services.
The development comes a week after Google was fined by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for what the regulator said were “unfair” business practices. The CCI slapped the tech giant with a fine of $113 million, which was the second penalty handed out to Google in October in a series of antitrust probe being conducted against it in the country.
“Following the CCI’s recent ruling, we are 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,” says a post on Google’s website.
Outside of India, however, the requirement to use Google’s billing system still applies for in-app digital content purchases for users.
On October 20, Google was fined $162 million for “one-sided” agreements with smartphone manufacturers to ensure exclusivity and dominance of its applications such as Google Chrome.
In the second ruling concerning the payment policies, the CCI remarked Google should not restrict app developers from using third-party payment systems as forcing them to use its own billing system for paid and in-app purchases on Google Play Store constitutes an “imposition of unfair condition”.
The competition watchdog also directed Google to ensure transparency in communication with developers about the details of the company’s service charges.