CCI directs investigation against google pay for alleged unfair practices
10 nov 2020
The competition commission of India (CCI) ordered a detailed probe against internet giant google for alleged unfair business practices with respect to google pay as well as google play’s payment system. Google pay is a popular digital payments platform while google play is the App Store on its android ecosystem.
The commission expressed a prima facie facie that mandatory use of google play store’s payment system for paid apps & in-app purchases restricts the choice available to the app developers to select a payment processing system of their choice especially considering when google charges a commission of 30% for all app purchases.
The probe has been ordered against five entities- Alphabet Inc., google LLC, google Ireland and google India digital services pvt ltd. In 2018, CCI had penalised google for anti-competitive practices in the Indian market for online search.
The complaint before CCI in this regard raised the following issues: (a) mandatory use of google play’s payment system (b) excluding other mobile wallets (c) google encourages pre-installation and opting of google pay as the default payment system etc.
A bench headed by chairperson Ashok kumar Gupta has directed the director general to conduct an investigation into the matter under Section 26(1) of the competition act, 2020, and conclude the same within a period of 60 days.