Google Takes Down, Naukri, 99acres, Altt, and Other Indian Apps from Play Store

Google has taken down the apps of 10 Indian companies, including Info Edge, 99acres, BharatMatrimony, Truly Madly, QuackQuack, Stage, Altt, and Kuku FM, due to non-payment of service fees. In response, Sanjeev Bikhchandani and Murugavel Janakiraman have made statements, and Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has been tagged in a post.

On Friday, March 1, Google initiated the removal of apps belonging to 10 Indian companies due to their failure to pay service fees. This action came after Google published a blog earlier in the day, stating that despite being “very established”, these companies hadn’t paid the required fees for using the platform. Although Google didn’t disclose the company names initially, it was revealed that the affected apps included matrimonial services.

Google emphasized its right to charge fees, stating, “For years, no court or regulator has denied Google Play’s right to charge,” adding that the Supreme Court had also declined to intervene.

Reports indicate that Info Edge’s flagship apps and 99acres, along with BharatMatrimony and, were removed by Google. Additionally, online dating apps Truly Madly and QuackQuack, vernacular video-streaming platform Stage, Balaji Telefilms’ Altt, and audio streaming and podcast app Kuku FM were among those taken down.

The dispute revolves around Google’s imposition of fees ranging from 11% to 26% on in-app payments after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) ordered the elimination of the previous fee structure of 15% to 30%.

Google claims to have provided over three years for developers to prepare for the changes, including three weeks after the Supreme Court’s order. As a result, the company asserts it is taking necessary steps to enforce its policies consistently across the ecosystem.

In response, Info Edge founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani stated that the company had settled all outstanding Google invoices promptly and complied with policies. He urged for the establishment of an App Store/Play Store integrated into Digital Public Infrastructure, akin to UPI and ONDC. Meanwhile, Bharat Matrimony founder Murugavel Janakiraman described Google’s actions as a “dark day” for the internet in India.

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