India’s antitrust body has hit Alphabet Inc’s Google with a $113.04 million fine after it ruled it had abused its market position to promote its payments app and in-app payment system.
The US tech giant forced app developers to use its in-app payment system, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said on Tuesday, noting selling of in-app digital goods makes up an important means for developers to monetise their work.
The CCI’s move is the latest setback for Google in one of its priority markets, where it was fined another $162 million on Thursday for anticompetitive practices related to Android. Google is also facing a separate probe into its business conduct in the Indian smart TV market.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the latest order. It had called CCI’s Thursday decision “a major setback for Indian consumers and businesses”, adding it will review the order and decide its next steps.
“The Commission hereby directs Google to cease and desist from indulging in anti-competitive practices,” CCI said in a statement on Tuesday.
It said Google should not restrict app developers from using any third-party billing or payment processing services, either for in-app purchases or for purchasing apps.
Google has faced criticism globally for mandating that software developers using its app store must use a proprietary in-app payment system that charges commissions of up to 30% on purchases made within an app. Of late, the company has begun to allow alternative payment systems in more countries.
Google’s Android operating system powers 97% of India’s 600 million smartphones, according to Counterpoint Research.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara