Indian App developers are no longer required to comply with mandatory Google Play Billing policy | Digit

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Recently, the Competitions Commission of India (CCI) imposed a heavy fine of $113 million on Google, which roughly translates to Rs. 940 crores, for abusing its position as the developer of the Google Play Store. In response, Google has decided to pause its policy that requires app developers to use Google Play’s billing system. This was the second time that CCI fined Google within a month. Before this, the Alphabet-owned company was also fined Rs. 1,337 crores for taking unfair advantage of its dominance in the Android ecosystem.

Google suspends Play Store billing in India

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As per an article published on Google’s website on November 1, 2022, the company is “pausing 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.” Additionally, the company is reviewing its legal options as it aims to improve the Android operating system and the Google Play services that function on it. 

Previously, Google had set a deadline of October 31, 2022, for developers to comply with its mandatory billing policy. However, on October 25, 2022, CCI directed Google not to limit developers from using third-party billing or payment processing services for in-app purchases via Google Play. The directive also contains other measures Google must take within three months. What is more interesting is that Apple has a similar App Store policy in place and is very strict in enforcing it. 

The Play Store billing policy was introduced in 2020

Google announced the mandatory integration of the Play billing system in October 2020. As a part of the new rule, Google wanted developers to set up a Google Play billing system that takes 15% out as a service charge from every in-app transaction. However, the policy change faced immense criticism from Indian developers. Hence, Google delayed the deadline to comply with the policy to October 31, 2022, for the Indian market, citing unique circumstances in the region. Now, the company has paused the mandatory Play billing system.  

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