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CCI directs investigation against Google Play alleged abuse of dominant position

The Competition Commission expressed a prima facie view that mandatory use of Google Play store’s payment system for paid app in app purchases restricts the choice available to the app developers to select a payment processing system of their choice especially considering when Google charges commission of 30% in for all app purchased and IAPs.
It was also observed by the commission that Google amounts to position of unfair and discriminatory condition, denial of market access for competing apps of Google Play and leveraging on part of Google. It was also noticed that pre-installation of G-Pay as default will lead the users from not downloading an competing apps.
A complaint was filed before CCI raising issue by an anonymous informant that Google was favouring G-Pay over the competing apps leading to disadvantages of apps facilitating payment through UPI as well as user. The issues raised before the court were exclusivity regarding mode of payment for purchase of apps and In-app purchases, Pre-installation and prominence of Google Pay on Android Smartphones, Search advertisement manipulation on the Play Store, Anonymity of Informant. A Bench headed by chairperson Ashok Kumar Gupta directed the director general to conduct an investigation in this matter and conclude the same within 60 days.
It was alleged that Google mandate the apps to use play store payment and G-pay when users purchase apps on play store. The courts came to the conclusion and stated that the competition act was enacted by keeping in mind the economic development of country and to prevent practices having adverse effect on competition. The court held the argument that the information may only be filed by person who has suffered invasion of legal right is not sustainable.

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