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Anti-Competition: Developers, Internet startups slam Google for ‘cosmetic’ changes to Android

*Internet startups and app developers have described the recent changes made by Google to its Android operating system and Play Store Billing policies as ‘delaying tactics’ that are ‘cosmetic in nature’ as the global tech giant continues its appeal against the Indian regulator’s October 2022 order

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Global technology giant Google has announced it will make a slew of changes to Android in India to comply with a ruling by the country’s competition watchdog October 2022, which found the tech giant guilty of abusing its market dominance.

Now, a number of Indian startups last Wednesday pointedly accused Google of using “delaying tactics”, saying the Big Tech’s changes to Android are merely cosmetic.

Indian internet startups have termed the recent changes made by Google to its Android operating system and Play Store Billing policies as “ delaying tactics” that are “cosmetic in nature” as the search giant continues its appeal against the October order of the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

ConsumerConnect gathered developers noted that Google is following the same playbook that it employed in Europe and South Korea, and “is exploiting loopholes to show compliance with the orders that were to come into effect on January 26.”

This was after the Supreme extended the January 19 deadline by a week.

Earlier Wednesday, Google had announced about five changes to the way it operates Android and Google Play billing in India, reports ETtech.

The country’s competition watchdog in its two rulings – one October 20 and the second October 25 last year – that directed the American company to make close to 20 changes to its services in the country.

“How can Google defy both CCI and Supreme Court,” asked Rohan Verma, CEO of MapMyIndia, a listed entity that competes with Google Maps.

Pointing out that Google has listed out just a few points instead of following all 10 directives by CCI he said, “Despite CCI’s directive, why is Google not allowing users to uninstall Google Maps and other apps and why is Google not allowing other app stores to be distributed through Google Play Store?” he said.

Snehil Khanor, Cofounder & CEO of, said Google’s implementation of user choice billing was in direct violation of the CCI order as it will still force developers to use its gateway to integrate with other payment gateways, report said.

It will also continue to charge 26 percent instead of 30 percent of the transaction value, according to report.

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