The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is currently investigating both Apple and Google about their App Store policies, in particular their payment policies, and the decision will play a key role in determining how Indian policymakers view the issue in the future, a new report said on Wednesday.
Google-owned Android currently dominates the India market with a market share of 95.1 percent while Apple iOS has a 3.93 percent share.
Google and Apple each charge a 15 or 30 percent commission on paid apps and in-app purchases (IAPs) purchases in the country.
From October of this year, Google – which has a mobile operating system market share of more than 95 per cent in India – will effectively prevent developers from using any other method of accepting payments from customers, thus forcing developers to pay its commission.
According to the report by The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) and The Quantum Hub, many 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 developer profit margins, affecting business viability and innovation,” the report stated.
ADIF said it welcomed the steps taken by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance to convene a meeting with major technology companies with the aim of discussing issues related to their competitive practices.
“The dominant position of custodians of the application ecosystem can severely harm market competition and innovation, while also negatively impacting the ecosystem in a number of ways,” said Sijo Kuruvilla George, CEO of ADIF.
As the CCI is currently investigating both the App Store and Google Play Store policies, particularly their payments policies, the need for the watch is a balanced approach, and the CCI’s decision is likely to play a key role in determining how policy makers view the issue in the future. .
Apple is currently under investigation from regulators in the US, Europe, Japan, Australia and India, while Google is also facing action in the US, Europe and India, among other countries.
In December 2021, the Dutch competition regulator (ACM) found that the Apple App Store was in violation of its competition laws.
Since then, a series of (weekly) penalties have been imposed on Apple for its continued non-compliance with its order, totaling more than $55 million with the regulator threatening another round of fines “with potentially greater penalties”.
In March, France also joined the dispute with the Paris Commercial Court, which fined Google €2m and demanded that it rewrite terms in developer agreements deemed unbalanced within three months.
In August 2021, South Korea passed a law preventing app stores from forcing developers to use app store-owned billing system, becoming the first such major legislation worldwide.
Another legislation – the Digital Markets Act – is currently under consideration in the European Union.
“It is therefore commendable that legislators take such issues into account and take effective steps to address the anti-competitive practices of large players,” said George, adding that there was an urgent need to ensure fair competition and improve options for both developers. and consumers.