Google Explains Its Play Store Billing Policy For Developers In India And How It Changes After CCI Order

Last Updated: May 17, 2023, 5:05 PM IST

Play Store policies in India are changing

Google claims the new changes will help developers and explains how it uses the fees to provide tools.

Google is being forced to make drastic changes to the Play Store billing policy in India after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) order issued in October last year. The search giant has a monopoly in the Android ecosystem with over 95 percent of smartphone users in the country using an Android phone.

This means millions of people rely on Play Store to download apps, which makes it directly lucrative for Android developers. Now, with the changes being ordered, Google is publicly sharing the impact of service fee for the developers and how it is used to help developers with better tools and more. Google also explains that the Play Store service fee is one of the lowest compared to other major app stores, by which it could be talking about iOS.

With respect to India, Google claims that only 3 percent of the developers sell digital goods or services for which they have to pay the service fee. And it also highlights the different tier of service fee charged that are less than 15 percent. As you can see below, Google seems to be charging the 15 percent service fee to apps that have recurring subscriptions.

To give it a better context, the company says that less than 60 developers out of the total 200,000 Indian developers on Play Store are paying a service fee of more than 15 percent.

And the company states that the fee reduces by another 4 percent if the user pays using a different billing system. Google also gives a detailed use of the service fee it charges a developer. “The service fee enables Android and Google Play to provide important tools and services to all developers to better serve their users and grow their businesses.”

It is interesting to see Google dish out all these details only after a stringent action was taken on the company by the CCI last year. The new policy has come into effect from April 26, 2023 and it has started notifying the developers about the support for third-party billing systems who can make these changes to garner better returns for their apps on the Play Store in India.

This is unlikely to be the last of Google’s battle with the CCI as the company further questions regarding its strategy with Android in the smart TV segment and even Google Maps which has been the default navigation app for Android users in India for many years.