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Google Pauses Enforcing Proprietary Billing System India, After Antitrust Order

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Following a decision by the nation’s antitrust commission, Alphabet Inc.’s Google is delaying the enforcement of a rule that forces app developers in India to use its exclusive billing system for selling digital items.

Google had previously given developers in India until October 31 to integrate their apps with its Google Play billing system, which charges a fee of between 15% and 30% for each transaction. However, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined Google $113 million last week and ordered Google to allow app developers to use third-party billing or payment processing services in India.

Google said the requirement to use its billing system still extended to consumers outside the country in a website update to developers on Tuesday. It also said it was looking into legal possibilities in India.

Google was preparing a judicial challenge last week to stop a different CCI decision that required a change in how it approached the Android operating system.

The fees levied at Google’s and Apple’s mobile app stores are criticized for being excessively exorbitant and for costing developers billions of dollars annually. Both parties have reduced costs frequently and stated that they are required to pay for a stable and secure mobile ecosystem.

Google’s Android mobile operating system powers about 97% of India’s 600 million smartphones, and entrepreneurs have banded together in the past to claim that the payment policy affected their companies.

For its part, Google has started to test out lower commission alternative payment methods in several nations, including India.

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