New Delhi: Google has taken action against several popular Indian apps, including Naukri, Shaadi, and Bharat Matrimony, by removing them from its Play Store due to non-compliance with its billing policies. This move comes amidst a dispute over Google’s policy of charging commissions on in-app payments, which has been contested by some Indian developers. Despite earlier court rulings supporting Google’s right to enforce these policies, developers now face significant setbacks as Google’s Android platform holds a dominant position in the Indian market.

The founder of Bharat Matrimony expressed dismay, labelling it a “dark day” for the country’s startup ecosystem, while the founder of KukuFM went as far as calling Google the “most evil company in the world.” Google, in response, stated that certain developers had not adhered to its billing policy, leading to their removal from the Play Store. The company’s review team identified non-compliance with its billing policy, particularly concerning the handling of commissions on in-app payments. Despite attempts by some developers to demonstrate compliance, such as InfoEdge, the owner of Naukri and 99Acres, the removals proceeded.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has advised Google against removing any apps from the Play Store, indicating that a legal challenge to Google’s policies is ongoing in the Supreme Court of India. Despite this, several IAMAI members have received notices of delisting from Google. These members argue that Google should refrain from coercive actions while the case is under review.

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