Google threatens to remove 10 apps from Play Store over fee dispute in India

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New Delhi: Google has escalated its conflict with some app developers in India who have been evading its Play Store fees for a long time. The tech giant published a blog post on Friday, accusing 10 companies of violating its policies and warning them of possible removal from the Play Store.

The blog post, written by Google India’s Director of Business Development, Rajan Anandan, said that Google has been facing several legal challenges from these companies, who have obtained temporary court orders to avoid paying Google its share of revenue from in-app purchases. However, a recent court order dismissed one of these cases, giving Google the green light to enforce its policies.

Anandan claimed that Google’s Play Store policies and fees are fair and competitive and that most of the app developers in India comply with them. He also pointed out that the 10 companies in question are paying fees to other app stores, but not to Google. “For an extended period of time, 10 companies, including many well-established ones, have chosen not to pay for the immense value they receive on Google Play by securing interim protections from court,” he wrote.

Google has reduced its fees from 15-30% to 11-26% for apps that offer in-app purchases in India, in response to the feedback from the developer community. However, the 10 companies have not agreed to pay even the lower fees, prompting Google to take a tough stance. “We have now decided to enforce strict action on these companies, which may include removal of the non-compliant apps from the Google Play Store,” Anandan said.

The removal of the apps from the Play Store would mean that the users would have to download them from alternative sources, such as other app stores or the developers’ websites. This would create inconvenience and security risks for the users, as well as affect the visibility and reach of the apps. The 10 companies have not been named by Google, but they are speculated to include some popular apps in the categories of gaming, e-commerce, and entertainment.


Google’s move comes amid the growing scrutiny of its dominance and practices in the app market, both in India and globally. Google and Apple, which control the two major app platforms, have been accused of abusing their power and imposing unfair terms on the developers. Several governments and regulators have launched investigations and lawsuits against the two companies, and some have proposed new laws and regulations to curb their influence. The app developers, meanwhile, have been seeking better deals and more options for their businesses, and some have formed alliances and coalitions to challenge the status quo. The latest saga in India is likely to continue as the legal battles and negotiations unfold.