Recently, Sharma accused Google of abuse of monopoly after Google removed Paytm app from its Play Store (it has been restored since). He accused the Google of “abusing its monopoly” to unfairly gain customers for its own payments business.
Be the app that, you want to see in the world. Condition: If only Google let’s you be. #GandhiJayanti
— Vijay Shekhar Sharma (@vijayshekhar) 1601607918000
Sharma claimed that action against Paytm happened even before they were served a notice. He accused Google of a high-handed behaviour where it acted as the “judge, jury, executioner and beneficiary.” “They have the power, and they are definitely harassing us,” Sharma told TOI as he claimed that Google took the “unprecedented step” only to stop Paytm from acquiring new customers in order to help other players in the payments market, including their own app. “You are benefiting yourself,” he charged at Google.
Other than Paytm, several other Indian startups too are up in arms against Google for forcing apps with in-app purchases to use its billing system. Google levies a 30% commission against 1.5-2% levied by external gateways. Incidentally, while the policy has always been there, Google recently said that it will now enforced it in India. This will affect apps like dating, education, video and music-on-demand that rely on in-app purchases. The startups are calling this as unfair exploitation of the Play Store’s monopoly. Google’s Android operating system powers almost 90% smartphones in India.
Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) too in a release criticised the move. “The Indian founders’ community is on fire at the announcement of the policy. IAMAI is seeking a meeting with its founder members to understand their concerns and to resolve them,” IAMAI said in a release.
Bharat Matrimony CEO Murugavel Janakiraman told Economic Times that the high commission would sound the “death knell” for Indian digital businesses.