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India Orders Investigation Against Google Pay For Alleged Unfair Business Practices

Competition Commission of India (CCI) has, reportedly, alleged Google Pay of unfair business practices. CCI in its recent order said that a detailed investigation would be set up against Google Pay in two out of six cases that have come to it against Google Pay and Google Play’s payment system.

Source – The Financial Express

In a 39-page long order, CCI has directed a probe into anti-competitive practices by Google Pay that abuse the competitive business environment that India tries to promote. The order also quoted Section 4 of the Competition Act that pertains to abuse of a dominant market position.

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“… the Commission is of the prima facie view that the Opposite Parties have contravened various provisions of Section 4 of the Act… These aspects warrant a detailed investigation,” a report by PTI highlights the order.

Source – Mumbai Live

As per the regulator, it is of “the prima facie view that said conduct of Google amounts to imposition of unfair and discriminatory condition, denial of market access for competing apps of Google Pay and leveraging on the part of Google, in terms of different provisions of Section 4(2) of the Act.”

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Google, over the days, has become sour in the eyes of app developers, especially ever since it has decided that it would charge 30% of commission on Paid apps and In-app purchases made through Google Play Store. Brands like Paytm has accused Google of misusing its monopoly in India.
Source – 9to5 Google

2 Cases To Be Investigated By CCI

Among the two complaints to be investigated, the first is Google making it compulsory for the app developers to use Google Pay to sell their services via Play Store. The second complaint, on the other hand, accuses Google of pre-installing the Google Pay app on new Android phones.

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CCI over this said, “prima facie view that mandatory use of application store’s payment system for paid apps and in-app purchases restricts the choice available to the app developers to select a payment processing system of their choice especially considering when Google charges a commission of 30 percent (15 percent in certain cases) for all app purchases and IAPs.”

Google replying on the same said-

“We are pleased that the CCI has rejected several claims made by the anonymous complainant. On the remaining concerns, first, we are confident that the CCI will find that GPay operates in an extremely competitive environment, and owes its success to its ability to offer consumers a simple and secure payments experience.

Source – How Stuff Works

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Secondly, numerous distribution channels exist for apps on the Android platform; Play is not the only app distribution option for Android. Users choose Google Play because we ensure a safe, secure, and seamless experience. Play’s billing system is a fundamental part of meeting this user expectation and helps ensure our continued investment in the many important things needed to make developers successful.”

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