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Paytm First Games is back in the store, but the version for downloading is a free app and does not allow real money fantasy gaming, the company said.
Paytm First Games is back in the store, but the version for downloading is a free app and does not allow real money fantasy gaming, the company said.

Google has double standards: Paytm

Fintech firm criticizes tech giant over its policies around fantasy games

Fintech unicorn Paytm kept up its criticism of Google, accusing it on Wednesday of double standards over its policies around fantasy games on the Play Store.

In a blog post announcing the return of Paytm First Games on the Play Store, Paytm said the US tech company does not allow its real money app to be promoted on Google Play, but this can be promoted via YouTube “by paying hefty fees to Google".

Paytm First Games is back in the store, but the version for downloading is a free app and does not allow real money fantasy gaming, the company said.

“To put it simply, the Play Store will ban the Paytm app or the Paytm First Games app if we promote our pro app. But it will freely allow YouTube to promote our free app, for a fee," the post said.

“If Paytm app promoted Paytm First Games, then Paytm app would also be violating their ‘policies’. But when YouTube promotes the same Paytm First pro app (for a hefty advertising fee), then it is not a violation of such ‘policies’ and suddenly does not create a risk to the customers," the Indian company said.

First reported by Mint, the Paytm First Games returned to the Play Store on Tuesday.

The app at present lists many of the real money games that users can play on Paytm First, but does not allow them to actually make transactions, as cash in and cash-out transactions for fantasy games are banned by Play Store policies.

For real money games, one has to head to the Paytm First Games website to download the Pro version of the app. Games such as rummy and ludo will be eventually added to the app, according to a person aware of the matter.

The fintech platform has been in a tussle with Google ever since the tech giant temporarily banned it from the Play Store on 18 September. The company has been able to get both Paytm and Paytm First Games onto the Play Store again, but it has led a loud and angry campaign by Indian startups against Google’s policies.

The issue gained more steam last week when Google announced that it is giving Indian startups till 30 September 2021 to comply with its Play Billing policies. This requires companies to pay Google 30% commissions on sales through the Play Store, which many are opposed to. Google extended this deadline by six months earlier this week, after a pushback from Indian startups. The tech giant has started arranging meetings with developers to “understand their concerns" and will be doing policy workshops with them to answer their questions, it said.

prasid.b@livemint.com

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