Updated March 4th, 2024 at 21:17 IST

Startups meet MoS IT over Google Play policies

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar met leaders from InfoEdge, KuKu FM, Bharat Matrimony, others for ‘an amicable solution’ to Google's billing policies

Reported by: Business Desk
Union Minister Rajeev Chadrasekhar with startup founders | Image:X
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Support for startups: Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on March 4 met the founders of apps delisted from Google Play over app billing. 

Google on March 1 had warned of taking action against developers who are persistently not complying with its billing policies.

The apps, including Kuku FM, Quack Quack and Bharat Matrimony and InfoEdge’s Naukri and 99acres were briefly delisted from Google, after which they were restored on Saturday (March 2).

Today, startups presented their concerns regarding a few policies of Google. Assured them that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will take it up with Google for a sustainable and long-term solution,” the Minister posted on X.

Founders and top bosses present in the meeting include Hitesh Oberoi, MD of Naukri parent InfoEdge, Ravi Mittal, founder and CEO of dating app Quack Quack, Murugavel Janakiraman, CEO of Bharat Matrimony and Lal Chand Bisu, co-founder and CEO of Kuku FM.

The founders were present for the meeting at the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF). 

There has been a deep and decisive transformation in India’s startup ecosystem over the past 10 years. From fewer startups in 2014, we now have more than 1 lakh startups and 113 unicorns, with the potential to add 10 lakh startups and 10,000 unicorns in the coming decade,” his post read.

Under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi ji, the Government will continue to work towards a level playing field for big and small firms alike while creating an ecosystem that will catalyse growth for startups, he further stated in the post.

Prateek Jain, Associate Director of ADIF said the recent move of delisting of certain apps from the Playstore by Google highlights a looming threat which the plaguing Indian startups “more often in the near future,” and brings to the forefront the necessities to advocate for fair policies, the need for promoting a level-playing field for the entire business ecosystem, and enabling an environment of growth and innovation. 

"The initiative taken up by ADIF to facilitate a discussion between some of the prominent startups and members of ADIF, and the relevant ministries, was done keeping the interests of the nation’s startups in mind, so that we can build an inclusive, equitable, impartial, and democratic startup ecosystem in the future. 
ADIF acknowledges the Government of India’s consistent efforts to promote a fair and equitable environment for startups and is hopeful that a positive resolution of the issue will be arrived at, at the earliest," Jain added.

Google had placed a fee ranging from 11 to 26 per cent on in-app payments, following anti-competition body CCI's scrapping of an earlier system which levied a 15 to 30 per cent charge.

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The app developers, or the startup companies affected did not get interim relief from the Supreme Court following which Google removed 10 apps from its Android app store for not paying up.

Google in a blog post said 10 Indian companies had chosen not to pay for the "immense value they receive on Google Play” for an extended period, but did not name the apps.  

Existing users will be able to continue to access the apps without interruption and that it continues "to offer our support to help developers get into compliance," Google added in the blogpost.
 

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Published March 4th, 2024 at 20:03 IST