Salem Radio Network News Monday, May 29, 2023


India starts inquiry into Google payments antitrust compliance

By Aditya Kalra

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -India’s competition watchdog said it has begun an inquiry into allegations that the service fee charged for in-app payments by Google breaches an earlier antitrust directive, a regulatory order seen by Reuters showed on Friday

Tinder-owner Match Group and Indian startups have asked the watchdog to investigate Google’s new User Choice Billing (UCB) system, which they alleged was anti-competitive.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Friday issued an order stating “it is of the opinion that an inquiry needs to be made.”

The order is not public and Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In October, the CCI imposed a $113 million fine on Google and said it must allow the use of third-party billing and stop forcing developers to use its in-app payment system that charges commission of 15%-30%.

Alphabet’s Google later began offering User Choice Billing (UCB) to allow alternative payments alongside Google’s when purchasing in-app digital content, but other companies complained this new system imposes a high “service fee”.

Match and Alliance of Digital India Foundation argued that Google had not complied with the earlier antitrust directive.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Sharon Singleton)


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