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Google Faces 'In-Depth' Antitrust Investigation In India: FT

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Google Faces 'In-Depth' Antitrust Investigation In India: FT

After clashing with anti-trust authorities in the U.S. and the European Union, Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is now under a probe in India.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has ordered a 60-day investigation into the search-engine giant's payment service, Google Pay. The probe alleges Google's market dominance in Playstore app purchases after receiving anonymous complaints, the Financial Times reports.

What Happened: The action was initiated after anonymous complaints claiming app developers were forced to route Google Play Store App purchases through Google Pay. Google levies a 30% fee on all such payments, FT reports.

The Indian regulatory body prima facie opines that the tech giant's promotion of its payment platform tantamounts unfair practices and monopolistic tendencies.

The body classified the policy as an "imposition of unfair and discriminatory condition, denial of market access for competing apps of Google Pay and leveraging on the part of Google.".

Google has denied CCI's claim of an unfair advantage and attributed Google Pay's success to its consumer experience and security measures. 

Why Does It Matter: In addition to Play Store purchases, Google Pay also supports mobile banking transactions and UPI transactions, a real-time interbank payment solution in India. 

In September, a CNBC report claimed that android app developers globally would be forced to use Google's billing system beginning sometime next year.

India's push in digital banking initiatives has garnered global interest in the Indian Fintech ecosystem. Some other mobile payment platforms in India include Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT)-backed PhonePe, Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group Holdings (NYSE: BABA) backed Paytm, and Amazon Inc's (NASDAQ: AMZN) AmazonPay.

Last week, Facebook Inc's (NASDAQ: FB) messaging platform WhatsApp also rolled out payment services in India.

Price Action: GOOG shares closed a marginal 0.07% higher to $1,763 on Monday.

 

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