Paytm & Other Indian Startups Knock on CCI’s Door Alleging Google’s Anti- Competitive Framework
India’s antitrust regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Friday met with Vijay Shekhar Sharma, chief executive of Paytm along with a group of startup founders to discuss Google’s alleged misuse of market dominance in the country.
The founders during the meeting complained about the tech- giant’s anti-competitive policies and the recent imposition of about 30% commission that the US-based tech giant charges for listing the applications on its interface. The meeting comprised of 13–15 entrepreneurs and included the founders of nCore Games, Map My India, Bharat Matrimony, and Truly Madly.
The group complained CCI that phones with the Android operating system are pre-loaded with the app distribution platform Play Store. Moreover, more than 95% of internet users employ this interface to discover apps online, thus providing Google too much of a head start over its rivals. Responding to the concerns, CCI said that it is well aware of Google’s monopoly in-app discovery space.
Since last week startups are scrutinizing ways to build an independent app store to take on Google’s domination and provide a safer space to the indigenous apps.
After the kindred views of most start-ups from the ecosystem, the founders are now on the verge of sending a written communication to both the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and CCI by this week.
If the start-ups end up filing a lawsuit, this will be the fifth case against Google filed in India. Google on the other hand has stated that the recent billing policy would impact only 3% of the total apps on the Playstore. It has also mentioned setting up “listening sessions” with the leading Indian start-ups to understand and take an action on their concerns accordingly.