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Business News/ Technology / News/  Google India may remove BharatMatrimony, Info Edge and 8 others for non-payment. All you need to know
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Google India may remove BharatMatrimony, Info Edge and 8 others for non-payment. All you need to know

The dispute revolves around the startups' resistance to Google's imposition of a service fee ranging from 11-26 percent, on in-app payments in India. This comes after antitrust authorities mandated Google to dismantle its previous system, which charged fees between 15-30 percent.

For representation purposes only (AFP)Premium
For representation purposes only (AFP)

Tech giant Google may remove apps from 10 Indian companies, including popular matrimony apps, amidst a disagreement over service fee payments, Reuters reported citing sources. The move could also potentially escalate tensions with startup firms, it added

The dispute revolves around the startups' resistance to Google's imposition of a service fee ranging from 11-26 percent, on in-app payments in India. This comes after antitrust authorities mandated Google to dismantle its previous system, which charged fees between 15-30 percent.

Legal Backing for Google

Google gained approval to enforce the fee or remove apps following court decisions in January and February. The Supreme Court's decision not to grant relief to startups played a crucial role in this authorisation.

Alphabet Inc's unit, Google, has issued notices of Play Store violations to Indian companies Matrimony.com and Info Edge. Matrimony.com, responsible for the BharatMatrimony app, and Info Edge, operating a similar app named Jeevansathi, are currently reviewing the notices.

Companies and Market Reactions

Shares of Matrimony.com and Info Edge fell by 2.7 percent and 1.5 percent respectively after the news broke. The stocks have since recovered. At 1.35 pm, Matrimony.com was at 545, and Info Edge was at 5,291.15.

Executives of both companies told Reuters they are reviewing the notice and will consider the next steps.

"The move means all the top matrimony services will be deleted," Murugavel Janakiraman, the founder of Matrimony.com, told Reuters.

"To our mind, we have been compliant since February 9 on Jeevensaathi. We have paid all invoices on time. We are in touch with Google and replying to the notice to say that we are compliant," said Sanjeev Bhikchandani, founder of InfoEdge.

Google's Perspective

Google, in a blog post, highlighted that 10 Indian companies had chosen not to pay for the significant value they receive on Google Play. It stressed its right to charge fees, citing the Supreme Court's decision on February 9, which refused to interfere with this right.

The potential removal of Google's apps raises concerns within the Indian startup community, which has been critical of the company's practices. Google, with a 94 percent share of phones based on its Android platform, asserts that its fees support investments in the app store and Android OS, ensuring free distribution and covering developer tools and analytic services.

Google added that only 3 percent of over 200,000 Indian developers on the Google Play platform are required to pay any service fee.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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Published: 01 Mar 2024, 01:38 PM IST
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