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India’s Competition Commission (ICC) is currently investigating Apple and Google for their app store policies, particularly their payment policies, and the ruling will play a key role in determining how Indian policymakers approach the issue at the time. future, a new report said Wednesday.
Android, owned by Google, currently dominates the Indian market with 95.1% market share, while Apple iOS holds 3.93% share.
Google and Apple both charge a 15% or 30% commission on the purchase of paid apps and in-app purchases (IAPs) in the country.
From October this year, Google – which has a mobile operating system market share of over 95% in India – will effectively block developers from using any other method to accept payments from customers, thus forcing payment of his commission.
According to the report by the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) and Quantum Hub, several Indian developers objected to the amount of commissions and the lack of choice in choosing a payment system, calling the proposed policy unreasonable. .
“Google’s new rules could significantly reduce profit margins for developers, affecting both business viability and innovation,” the report said.
ADIF welcomed the steps taken by the Standing Parliamentary Finance Committee to convene a meeting with Big Tech companies to deliberate on issues related to their competitive practices.
“The dominant position enjoyed by gatekeepers of the application ecosystem can seriously harm competition and innovation in the market, while negatively affecting the ecosystem in several ways,” said Sijo Kuruvilla George, Executive Director of ADIF.
While the ICC is currently investigating the policies of the App Store and Google Play Store, in particular their payment policies, the need of the hour is a balanced approach, and the ICC’s decision will likely play a key role in determining how policy makers view the issue in the future. , says the report.
Apple is currently under investigation by regulators in the US, Europe, Japan, Australia and India, while Google is also facing lawsuits in the US, Europe and in India, among other countries.
In December 2021, the Dutch competition regulator (ACM) concluded that Apple’s App Store breached its competition laws.
He has since imposed a series of (weekly) penalties on Apple for what he says is continued non-compliance with his order and those fines have totaled more than $55 million, with the regulator threatening another round of fines.” with possible higher penalties”.
In March, France also entered the fray with the Paris Commercial Court fining Google 2 million euros and asking it to rewrite within three months the clauses of its developer contracts deemed unbalanced.
In August 2021, South Korea passed a law prohibiting app stores from forcing developers to use app stores’ proprietary billing system, becoming the first major such legislation in the world.
Another piece of legislation – the Digital Markets Act – is currently under consideration in the EU.
“It is therefore commendable that lawmakers are taking note of these issues and actively taking action to address anti-competitive practices by big players,” George said, adding that there is an urgent need to ensure fair competition and improve choice for both developers. and consumers.