Centre stern after Google's action on Indian apps: ‘Delisting not permitted' - Hindustan Times
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Centre stern after Google's action on Indian apps: ‘Delisting can’t be permitted'

ByVaishnawi Sinha
Mar 02, 2024 02:51 PM IST

Google recently sent a notice to 10 companies in India asking them to take down their apps. These include matrimony and dating apps.

Union telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw took a strong stance for the Indian startups in the middle of the row with Google, saying that the delisting of the apps from the Google Play Store “is not permitted”. The Centre has also called a meeting between Google and the startups in question to resolve this dispute.

Google has taken down several apps from Play Store in India(Getty Images via AFP)
Google has taken down several apps from Play Store in India(Getty Images via AFP)

Google's parent company Alphabet Inc sent a notice to 10 companies for the non-payment of service fee to the big tech company, mainly targeting popular matrimony and dating apps in India. On Saturday, four of these apps were removed from the Play Store, sparking a showdown between Google and the parent companies of these apps.

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The startup ecosystem is key to the Indian economy and their fate cannot be left to any big tech to decide, said Vaishnaw during an interview with PTI.

Taking a serious view of the issue, Vaishnaw said: “India is very clear, our policy is very clear...our startups will get the protection that they need.” The minister said the government will be meeting Google and app developers who have been delisted, next week, to resolve the dispute.

Read more: 5 Info Edge apps delisted from Google Play Store, company tells bourses

Vaishnaw further asserted, “I have already called Google...I have already called the app developers who have been delisted, we will be meeting them next week. This cannot be permitted…This kind of delisting cannot be permitted.”

India has a strong startup ecosystem with over one lakh startups, with over 100 unicorns in the span of a decade, he said.

"I will be telling Google...Our entrepreneurial energy...startups, look at the whole startup India programme, 10 years back we had practically nothing and today we have more than 1,00,000 startups, more than 100 unicorns...this is something...the energy of our youth, the energy of our entrepreneurs, energy of our talented people that has to be channelised fully well, it cannot be left to the policies of any big tech," Vaishnaw said.

Google vs Indian startups in service fee dispute

Earlier, Google sent a notice to multiple Indian startups regarding a breach of Play Store rules. On Friday, the big tech company said in a blogpost that 10 companies in India, including “many well-established ones” have not paid the platform service fees.

While Google did not name any companies in its post, searches on the Play Store revealed that apps such as Shaadi, Matrimony.com and Bharat Matrimony, as well as Balaji Telefilms' Altt (formerly ALTBalaji), audio platform Kuku FM, dating service Quack Quack and Truly Madly, were removed.

Read more: Who is Haresh Jogani, man asked to pay 20,000 crore to four brothers?

This move was taken by Google after several Indian startups refused to pay a service fee of 11 to 26 percent to the company for in-app payments.

(With inputs from PTI)

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