Startups Create Task Forces to Challenge Google on Billing

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Three points you will get to know in this article:

  • IAMAI has formed a task force with key startup founders as members.
  • Indian firms and startups joined forces, creating a 40-member task force.
  • The focus is on addressing concerns with Google, particularly regarding the GPBS.

A coalition of Indian enterprises and emerging businesses has collaboratively formed a robust 40-member task force to confront Google, specifically targeting the Google Play Billing System (GPBS). This insightful revelation was shared by individuals privy to the matter with ET.

Distinguished personalities within this task force include the visionaries behind Matrimony, pioneers of the initial antitrust petition against Google in India, and Anupam Mittal, the visionary leader associated with The task force, operating under the umbrella of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), is poised to address challenges posed by the Google Play Billing System.

For the inaugural instance, a dedicated task force, comprising 40 members, has been assembled with the distinct purpose of strategizing the response to issues surrounding Google Play. Remarkably, this initiative unfolds amidst the ongoing Supreme Court deliberations, where cross-appeals from both the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and Google are under scrutiny. The appeals pertain to the antitrust body’s directives against the search giant. As per insights from one individual closely involved, this marks an unprecedented effort to shape the trajectory of action against Google Play.

“Additionally, Google is scheduled to deliver a presentation to the task force. Following this, the task force members will collaboratively determine the appropriate course of action, whether it involves legal intervention through court impleading or issuing a comprehensive statement,” this insider shared.

Moreover, he pointed out that the affected startups are contemplating various legal avenues against Google. Notably, under the Google Play Billing System (GPBS), Google enforces a policy requiring all in-app transactions to utilize its payment gateway, accompanied by a 30% commission on such transactions. It’s worth mentioning that, in response to a directive from the Competition Commission of India (CCI), Google has replaced GPBS with a user-choice billing system in India.

The IAMAI reached out to its members via email, extending an invitation to join the task force. Notably, Google is also represented within this collective initiative. According to an undisclosed source speaking to ET, many startups encounter similar challenges, and presently, the predominant concern revolves around GPBS. Given the IAMAI’s emerging role as the industry’s go-to body, it seemed only fitting for them to address an issue impacting a substantial portion of their members.

Last week, ET brought to light a significant development: the 24-member governing council of IAMAI, featuring representatives from influential companies such as Dream Sports, Makemytrip, Times Internet, and Ixigo, made a noteworthy decision. Among the three resolutions passed, one explicitly highlighted a commitment to “hardcode” the industry body’s dedication to prioritizing “Indian companies first.” This move underscores a strategic shift, positioning IAMAI as an organization increasingly focused on safeguarding the interests of Indian enterprises.

In a strategic move, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has orchestrated a formidable task force, including key figures from Matrimony and, to address challenges posed by the Google Play Billing System. With the industry’s heightened focus on prioritizing Indian companies, this collaborative effort not only marks an unprecedented push against Google but also reflects IAMAI’s evolving role as a guardian of Indian enterprises’ interests in the dynamic digital landscape. As Google prepares to present its case, the culmination of this task force’s deliberations holds the promise of shaping a significant trajectory in the ongoing legal battle.

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