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Statement | ADIF says Google’s deadline extension is a welcome interim move, calls for introspection that results in fairer policies for all app owners
We hope that Google makes use of this additional time to actually listen to the problems of app developers and come out with a policy which is fair to all applications on the PlayStore.
Google’s decision to extend the deadline for the new PlayStore policy to October 2022 certainly gives developers a short-term relief for their anxiety and ADIF welcomes this decision. We, however, disagree and mark our strong objection with the reasoning given for the extension. The core issue for the developers is the gatekeeper tax of 15-30% on a select category of apps and restrictions on the use of other payment options and Google fails to admit that in their announcement.
App developers, especially those selling digital goods and services, have been unhappy and vocal about their objections to the policy ever since it was announced back in September 2020. Google has been tinkering with the policy since – moving the deadline and then lowering the percentage of its app store fees – to make it more palatable to the app developers. Having failed to appease the developers with half-hearted measures, the company has now extended the deadline a second time around.
“There is a petition before the Competition Commission of India (CCI) seeking to stop Google from implementing these policies before the investigation against its alleged anti-competitive practises has been completed. ADIF has maintained that if the status quo is not maintained, and if app developers are forced to migrate to Google’s in-app billing system before the probe has been completed – be it in March 2022 or October 2022 – it will result in irreversible consequences for India’s startup ecosystem.”
“The reality is that app owners have been in a very tough spot as they are unsure if they should unwillingly comply with Google’s new policies and be hopeful of a CCI’s intervention on the interim relief petition for maintaining the status quo. Google’s deadline extension certainly gives them more time but doesn’t take away their uncertainty.”
Sijo Kuruvilla George, Executive Director, ADIF
ADIF also disagrees that the issue for developers is one of figuring out recurring payments as per the new RBI guidelines. Developers who collect recurring payments are mostly selling digital goods and services.
The core issue for the developers is the gatekeeper tax of 15-30% on a select category of apps and restrictions on the use of other payment options. We hope that Google makes use of this additional time to actually listen to the problems of app developers and come out with a policy that is fair to all applications on the PlayStore.
Founded in 2020, ADIF (Alliance of Digital India Foundation) is an industry body for India’s digital startups formed to fully capitalise on the sector’s promise with the objective of its long-term prosperity in mind. ADIF aims to transform the Indian startup ecosystem into the top 3 globally by 2030.
Among the issues ADIF is working on, we are fighting Google and Apple on their app store monopolies.
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