Advertisement

Updated March 2nd, 2024 at 14:17 IST

Google app delisting: Affected startups to get government support, says IT Minister Vaishnaw

Google on Friday commenced removing several apps, including popular matrimony apps, from its Play Store in India due to disputes over service fee payments.

Reported by: Business Desk
Google app delisting controversy
Google app delisting controversy | Image:ANI
Advertisement

Google-Indian startup dispute: Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, on Saturday said that Google's move to delist Indian apps cannot be permitted. He stressed the significance of the startup ecosystem to the Indian economy, asserting that their fate cannot be subject to the decisions of large tech companies.

The government's stance comes amidst Google's actions on Friday, where it commenced removing several apps, including popular matrimony apps, from its Play Store in India due to disputes over service fee payments. This move drew outcry from app developers and well-known startup founders.

Advertisement

Vaishnaw stated in an interview, "India is very clear, our policy is very clear...our startups will get the protection that they need." He further indicated that a meeting would be held next week with Google and the affected app developers to address the dispute.

Highlighting India's robust startup ecosystem, Vaishnaw underscored the need to harness the energy of youth and entrepreneurs, saying that they cannot be at the mercy of big tech policies. He cited the exponential growth of startups in the country over the past decade, emphasising the importance of channeling this entrepreneurial energy effectively.

Advertisement

The dispute stems from Google's imposition of fees ranging from 11 to 26 per cent on in-app payments, following an order from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to revise its previous fee structure of 15 to 30 per cent. The removal of apps ensued after the Supreme Court declined to provide interim relief to companies challenging Google's app marketplace fee.

While Google defended its actions, stating that it aims to ensure consistent enforcement of policies across its ecosystem, affected app developers expressed concerns. Bharat Matrimony founder Murugavel Janakiraman lamented the move as a "dark day" for the Internet in India, while others criticised Google for its behavior akin to a monopoly.

Advertisement

Industry associations, including IAMAI, condemned the delisting of apps and urged Google to reinstate them. However, Google reiterated its commitment to enforcing its policies uniformly, offering support to developers to comply with its payment policy.

(With PTI inputs.)

Advertisement

Published March 2nd, 2024 at 14:17 IST

Your Voice. Now Direct.

Send us your views, we’ll publish them. This section is moderated.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Whatsapp logo