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Indian antitrust watchdog has ordered a probe into Google's payments app


India’s antitrust watchdog has ordered an investigation into Google’s payments app over allegations the tech giant is abusing
its market dominance.

The Competition Commission of India said it was investigating allegations
the California-based company “rigged” featured app lists to include Google
Pay, “demonstrating clear bias”.

The ombudsman is also looking into a Google plan – to start from March
2022 – that requires some developers to pay a 30 percent commission on in-app
purchases.

The move has sparked an outcry in India.

The case was filed by an anonymous complainant, the commission said, adding
that its investigations unit would submit a report within 60 days.

Google has denied the allegations, and in a statement said its payments app
was successful because it offers consumers a “simple and secure” experience.

Google Pay uses India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which manages
payment apps with over 140 Indian banks that are part of the network.

UPI is also used by Walmart’s PhonePe and the Alibaba-backed Paytm. The
three dominate India’s digital payments market.

UPI processed nearly 11 billion transactions in 2019, with a monthly rate
of 31 billion dollars in February leading to an annualised payment value of 373
billion dollars this year, according to S&P Global.

Google’s Android mobile operating system is by far the dominant player in
India, supporting 99 percent of all smartphones, according to the research
agency Counterpoint.

Analysts have said having such a widely used operating system could make it
easier for Google to control the market, a claim the Silicon Valley firm
denies.(AFP)



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