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Google’s decision to remove some apps from the Indian Play Store ‘cannot be accepted’

In the midst of an ongoing disagreement over service fee payments to the US company, Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw stated on Saturday that Google’s decision to delete certain Indian apps from its app store “cannot be permitted”.

Google deleted a number of Indian apps from its Play Store on Friday, citing noncompliance with its in-app payment policies. Among them were the well-known Bharat Matrimony and Naukri job search apps from Matrimony.com (MATI.NS).

Vaishnaw stated that he will meet with companies who want protection in India and that he has had discussions with Google.

“We are unable to allow this. We cannot allow this type of de-listing,” he declared in a statement.

Google said it would not comment.

Numerous businesses who have been protesting and suing the US firm for years over a number of its policies, including its in-app fee, have taken issue with the withdrawal. Google claims that the payments support the growth and advertising of the Play Store and Android ecosystem.

The conflict revolves around attempts by a few Indian companies to prevent Google from enforcing an in-app payment price ranging from 11% to 26% after the nation’s antitrust authorities ordered it to refrain from enforcing an earlier 15%–30% system.

However, following two court rulings in January and February, one of which was rendered by the Supreme Court, Google essentially got the green light to impose the fee or remove apps.

According to a statement made by Google on Friday, some Indian businesses have opted not to pay for the “immense value they receive on Google Play”.

Matrimony.com has had more than 150 of its apps removed from the Play Store, making it one of the worst-hit sites by the deletions.

“We are out of the Play Store and (that) means out of business,” founder Murugavel Janakiraman told Reuters on Saturday. “All our apps have been removed.” “If this continues for a long term then we will have a significant drop in revenue.”

Another impacted company, Info Edge, had noticed the removal of two of its apps: one for real estate and one for jobs, Naukri. Without providing further details, the company’s creator stated on X on Saturday that many of the apps have been restored.

In 2020, Google temporarily pulled Paytm, a well-known Indian payments app, from the Play Store due to alleged policy violations. Following the change, the founder of the business and the larger startup community banded together to take legal action against Google and build their own app marketplaces.

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