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Indian watchdog has opened up inquiry into Google for breach of anti-trust directive

India flag on the right and Google icon on the left

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has opened up an inquiry into Google after several companies alleged that Google has not followed an earlier CCI directive. Google was handed down a $113 million fine by the India's anti-trust watchdog in October 2022 for not allowing developers to use third-party payment gateways to process in-app purchases.

According to Reuters, several companies, including Match Group who owns dating apps like Tinder, have asked CCI to investigate Google's new User Choice Billing (UCB) system. Google had introduced the UCB pilot program in response to the European Union and India deeming the use of the Google Play Billing System (GPBS) unfair to customers and developers.

However, as per companies using UCB, Google is still charging them commissions ranging from 11 percent to 26 percent which is in breach of the directive that had "ordered it not to impose any such unfair and disproportionate conditions." Google had earlier argued that service fees charged to the developers are used to maintain the Play Store as well as provide developer tools and analytics services.

The Competition Commission of India has given Google four weeks to respond to the allegations as well as "explain certain provisions related to the in-app payment system before and after UCB and provide details of policies related to sharing of user and app developer data."

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