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Google slapped with $113 million antitrust fine in India

India flag on the right and Google icon on the left

Google is no stranger to antitrust fines. Just a couple of months ago, it was ordered by the EU to pay a massive sum of €4.1 billion for anti-competitive practices, and now, it is facing yet another fine on the same grounds in India.

Google has been fined $113 million for not allowing third-party developers to use any payment processing services for in-app purchases other than its billing system. The fine was handed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the country's antitrust watchdog.

Investigation into the matter kicked off in late 2020 with CCI claiming that forcing people to use the Google Play Billing System (GPBS) imposes an "unfair condition" on consumers and developers, so is in violation of India's laws.

It also emphasized that Google is not using its billing system for its own apps such as YouTube and that the "imposition of discriminatory conditions as well as pricing as YouTube is not paying the service fee as being imposed on other apps covered in the GPBS requirements."

Interestingly, Apple faced a similar legal issue in South Korea recently and was ordered to allow external payment gateways for App Store purchases. India hasn't gone to those lengths yet, and the likely reason for this is that Google has already kicked off a pilot program for user choice billing mechanisms in select countries.

Source: CCI via TechCrunch

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