Google yields to Indian pressure: Postpones 30% fee mandate to 2022

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Global technology giant Google has delayed its decision to enforce the 30 percent commission cut for in-app purchases of digital goods from its Play Store in India as more and more startup and regional heavyweights protested against the firm’s compelling stance. 

Google said that it is listening to the Indian startup and app developer community and has extended the compliance window till April 2022 while developers in the rest of the world will still have to comply with the matter by September 2021.

Sameer Samat, Google’s VP for Product Management said that “It’s not good for anyone if our partners feel they can’t grow and be successful. So we’re deeply committed to the Indian ecosystem. We will be engaging, we will be finding ways (so) that we can grow together.”

Earlier, more than 50 startups and technology entrepreneurs united to approach the Indian government to negate the undue dominance American tech giants were enjoying due to Android and iOS penetration in the country.

Indian government subsequently suggested that it was as open to float an independent app store to bypass Google and Apple’s own stores if the necessary demand existed.

No structural changes   

Commenting on the nature of conversations his firm was having with the developer community, Mr. Samat stated that “During this time, we could have conversations and work together Our overall approach and tone with this was not to try to be abrupt, nor to try to be burdensome.”

“The conversations that have been going on in India about Google Play related to billing and other topics… we are doing a listening tour. You know we have started already, we will continue. Me and my team will be engaging with founders, CEOs and just making sure we sit down and discuss all these things.” Google’s VP for Product Management asserted.

Mr. Samat clarified that “We are not discussing a change in the model per se but I do feel that we can engage and hear discussion on billing but also other topics they would like to discuss. We can find ways to grow together.”