Google Play Store

Indian startups including Paytm, MakeMyTrip and Policybazaar are reportedly in talks to form an alliance against Google Play Store policies.

Google charges a 30% commission for in-app purchases, as compared to the 1.5-2% levied by external gateways. While the policy has been there for a while, the company is now enforcing it and has given a one-year grace period to apps who have avoided using the Google Play Store billing system.

Dating apps, education apps, and on-demand video providers are likely to be most affected by this policy. Google says only 3% of businesses will be affected by the policy. The company also says that businesses can go to other app stores and platforms to distribute their services.

After companies in the west went after Apple, forming a Coalition for App Fairness, Indian startups are thinking of a similar approach towards the Google Play Store. Just like Apple’s strong hold over the US-market, Google commands over 90% of the Indian smartphone market via Android.

Reportedly, the indian startups are also in talks to discuss the possibility of another app store. The growing resentment comes from recent notices sent out to various Indian startups by Google. The Mountain View giant has sent notices to Swiggy and Zomato for violating its Play Store policies. A few days ago, Paytm was removed from the Play Store for policy violations, however it was reinstated after several hours.

Indian companies banding together may be a result of these warnings and removals coming from Google, and the fact that Google Play Store is their primary channel of app distribution.

Google earlier said that most Android devices ship with more than one app store. The biggest example being Samsung, operating its Galaxy App Store on its smartphones. However, there’s no major competitor to the Play Store when it comes to Android app distribution.

Manik Berry
Manik is fascinated by smartphones and ecosystems. He also likes a strong coffee after a long bike ride.