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"This kind of de-listing cannot be permitted.." says Union IT minister over Google Play Store app removals

The centre and Google are in disagreement over the removal of certain apps from the Play Store. Google's decision is due to billing regulations. However, the government opposes it and seeks to discuss the matter with Google.

Vishal Upadhyay Written By: Vishal Upadhyay New Delhi Updated on: March 02, 2024 14:51 IST
google play store, union it minister, ashwini vaishanaw, google delisted indian apps on play store
Image Source : PTI Representational Image (Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw)

The Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, has strongly criticised Google's decision to remove certain apps from its Play Store. Vaishnaw emphasised that the government will not allow such apps to be de-listed and has called for a meeting with Google to address this issue.

"I have already called Google, I have already called the app developers which have been delisted, we will be meeting them next week. This cannot be permitted. This kind of de-listing cannot be permitted," the Union Minister stated in an interview with PTI. 

Google's Play Store billing regulations

Google's move comes in response to its policy requiring developers to use its payment services and pay a 30 per cent commission for in-app transactions. This includes purchases of digital items and subscription services. Failure to comply with these regulations may lead to app removal from the Play Store.

IAMAI urges Google to reconsider

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has urged Google to refrain from de-listing any apps from its Play Store. IAMAI emphasised that a significant legal case regarding this issue is pending in the Supreme Court of India, and Google should avoid taking coercive actions until a resolution is reached.

"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," said IAMAI 

Google defends its position

"After giving these developers more than three years to prepare, including three weeks after the Supreme Court's order, we are taking necessary steps to ensure our policies are applied consistently across the ecosystem, as we do for any form of policy violation globally," Google stated in its blogpost.

In response to the criticism, Google stated that a limited number of companies, including established ones, have chosen not to comply with its Play Store service fee policy. Google argues that this creates an unfair advantage for these companies and undermines the competitiveness of other developers who adhere to the policy.

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