Indian startups against Google anti-competition meet antitrust regulator

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Photo by Stockseller |

Several startup founders in India held a meeting with the country’s antitrust regulator, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), against Google’s alleged anti-competition policies and misuse of market dominance in the country.

Internet major Google is already involved in four antitrust cases in India, which is one of its key markets globally. The development also comes at a time when Google along with players like Apple, Facebook and Amazon are facing probes around the world due to their dominance in the global marketplace.

Paytm founder Vijay Shekar Sharma led the group of entrepreneurs on Friday during the meeting with the regulator. The group of 13-15 entrepreneurs  included founders of BharatMatrimony, MapMyIndia, TrulyMadly and nCore Games.

A larger group of such entrepreneurs and startup founders have already met with India’s electronics and IT secretary to express concerns over Google’s Play Store practices.

According to a report by the Economic Times, entrepreneurs on Friday informed the regulator about the instance where Google could be posing a monopoly risk to India’s growing burgeoning app ecosystem.

“Startups from the National Capital Region went to the CCI physically. Startups from Mumbai and Bengaluru joined the meeting on a video call. We acknowledge all the good Google has done for the world, but it should not be allowed to be unfair … The CCI was already very much aware and informed of the issue,” an entrepreneur who attended the meeting was quoted as saying.

However, it is not clear if the antitrust regulator would initiate a new probe against the US-based tech giant in the country. 

CCI is already conducting an antitrust probe against Google over alleged abuse of its dominant position in the smart TV market, which is growing rapidly after the entry of various Chinese players. 

The regulator started the probe in June to look into allegations that Google was engaging in “anti-competitive practices” by creating barriers for companies that want to use modified versions of Android for smart TVs.

The whole issue started when Google had taken down the Paytm application of India’s most valuable startup for alleged violation of Play Store guidelines. Google’s announcement of a 30% commission on in-app purchases of digital goods led to more local companies expressing concerns about Google’s Play Store’s gambling policy and the “monopolistic approach”. 

Google, however, has maintained that its enforcement of policies in India was in line with global standards for secure customer practices. The company is currently in talks with top Indian startups to understand their concerns about its policies. 

These startups and entrepreneurs are now planning to approach India’s banking regulator and the finance ministry against Google’s move to impose 30% commission. 

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