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IAMAI advises Google not to delist any apps from its Play Store in India

Earlier today, Google began removing the apps of 10 companies in India over service fee payments, including some popular matrimony apps like Bharat Matrimony

Google Play Store, Play Store

Photo: Bloomberg

Raghav Aggarwal New Delhi

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The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has advised Google not to remove any mobile applications from its Play Store in India, it said in a statement. It said that at least four of its members have received notices from Google. 

"The affected members of IAMAI are of the view that a substantive hearing of the case is pending before the Supreme Court of India, and Google should not take any coercive action during the pendency of the case," it said. 

Earlier today, Google began removing the apps of 10 companies in India over service fee payments, including some popular matrimony apps like Bharat Matrimony. 

The dispute stems from the efforts by some startups to stop Google from imposing a fee of 11 per cent to 26 per cent on in-app payments after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) ordered it to dismantle an earlier system of charging 15 per cent to 30 per cent.

Google, however, received a go-ahead to charge the fee or remove apps after two court decisions in January and February, including from the Supreme Court, not to give any relief to startups.

Matrimony.com, Bharat Matrimony, Christian Matrimony, Muslim Matrimony and Jodii have already been deleted, according to a report by Reuters. The founder of these companies, Murugavel Janakiraman, said it was a "dark day of Indian Internet".

"Our apps are getting deleted one by one," he said. 

A notice has also been sent to Info Edge, which runs a similar app, Jeevansathi.

Info Edge founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani said it had cleared all pending Google invoices in a timely manner and was compliant with its policies.

In a blog post, Google said 10 Indian companies had chosen for an extended period of time not to pay for the "immense value they receive on Google Play". It did not identify the firms.

"For years, no court or regulator has denied Google Play's right to charge," the company said, adding that the Supreme Court on February 9 also "refused to interfere" with its right to do so.

Google also said that its fee supports investments in the app store and the Android mobile operating system, ensuring free distribution and covering developer tools and analytic services.

The shares of Info Edge and Matrimony.com fell after the news surfaced. 

(With agency inputs)

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First Published: Mar 01 2024 | 3:59 PM IST

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