Google Under Antitrust Investigation in India After Match Group Complaint
Google’s ongoing feud with Match Group over in-app payments has spilled over to India, with potentially significant ramifications for the search giant. Match Group, the parent company of Tinder and Hinge, has joined a group of Indian startups in requesting that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) investigate Google’s User Choice Billing system.
The CCI is the same regulatory body that last year barred Google from requiring OEMs to bundle first-party Google apps and services with Android. The order, which Google began to reluctantly implement at the start of the year, also mandates Google to support third-party billing options.
In a complaint to the CCI, Match argues that Google’s new User Choice Billing system still imposes a high “service fee” between 11 and 26 percent on app developers. Match claims that the cost of using the system means that Google has not complied with the CCI’s previous order.
The CCI has said that it is “of the opinion that an inquiry needs to be made.” Google has four weeks to comply with an information request from the CCI.
When Match sued Google last year over its Play Store billing policies, Google accused Match of carrying out a “self-interested campaign to avoid paying for the significant value they receive” from the Android and Play Store ecosystems.
The CCI’s investigation into Google’s User Choice Billing system could have significant implications for the company’s business in India. If the CCI finds that Google is in violation of antitrust laws, it could impose fines or other penalties. The investigation could also damage Google’s reputation and make it more difficult for the company to do business in India.
Google is facing increasing scrutiny from regulators around the world over its business practices. The company is currently under investigation by antitrust regulators in the United States, Europe, and South Korea. The CCI’s investigation into Google’s User Choice Billing system is another sign that regulators are taking a closer look at Google’s business practices.