Google reinstates Indian apps, will require payment of dues

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Google is reinstating dozens of apps that were delisted by the company on March 1 for resisting the firm’s platform fees on in-app payments, the tech company said in a statement on March 5. “In the spirit of cooperation, we are temporarily reinstating the apps of the developers with appeals pending in the Supreme Court,” a Google spokesperson said, referring to apps by developers like Bharat Matrimony and Kuku FM.

“Google maintains its right to implement and enforce its business model, as established in various courts. We will invoice our full applicable services fees in the interim and are extending payment timelines for these companies. We look forward to a collaborative effort to find solutions that respect the needs of all parties.”

The announcement remains a setback for the apps’ developers, who had moved the court to avoid what they characterised as high fees that Google conditioned on their products being available on the company’s Android application store. The tech firm collects 11–30% per transaction in platform fees, which an emerging class of apps eager to charge for their services in India — such as in the dating, matrimonial or OTT streaming space — are trying to avoid.

“Google has been supporting our technology development journey and we believe that in the coming months, both start-up companies and Google will come to a long-term resolution,” Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw told ANI after meeting representatives from both camps.

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