Google Is Forced To Add Third-Party App Stores In Play Store!
Google loses bid to block Indian Antitrust ruling on Android. Will be forced to make third-party app stores available in Play Store, among other things. Here’s everything to know about it!
Last year, the competition watchdog in India, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), imposed a fine of $16 Million (Rs 1337 Crores) on Google, citing the company’s control over the Android platform and has even made some demands. Google, however, challenged the same in the Supreme Court of India.
The Supreme Court of India has passed its verdict on the same. According to the judgment, Google will not only have to pay the fines, but it also has to abide by the demands. This also means Google will have to allow third-party app stores in Google Play Store.
Reacting to the order, Google has claimed that this will “hurt consumers” and “stall the growth of the Android platform.”
Big Changes Are Coming To Android!
With this change, Google will have to allow other App Stores on Google Play Store. Also, Google will not restrict third-party apps in any manner.
Other than Google Play Store, various app stores exist for Android, such as Aptoide, Amazon App Store, F-Droid, and more. There also exists manufacturer’s app stores, such as Galaxy Store for Samsung and GetApp for Xiaomi. You won’t find either of these apps in Google Play Store, as Google currently doesn’t allow other App Stores in it. With this judgment, Google will have to make the third-party app stores available on Play Store.
Google also has been trying to block third-party app installations in Android and route the installations only using the Google Play store. This change will put a hold on that, as Google will have to allow sideloading apps. It will also allow users to install apps from third-party app stores downloaded from Play Store.
From Google’s perspective, the logic behind blocking third-party app stores and sideloading apps makes sense, as these app stores and apps pose a security risk for users, and these app stores don’t come with malware protection and Google’s Play Protect. But what Google gets wrong is Android is built on open-source principles, and making the app ecosystem a Play Store exclusive makes it directly goes against it and makes it more like iOS.
Next, Google should not restrict users from accessing any features and services offered by app developers. Google should not impose any condition, including price-related conditions, on app developers, which the Indian competition watchdog termed as “unfair, unreasonable, discriminatory, or disproportionate to the services provided to the app developers.”
The eight directions also include Google allowing and not restricting any apps from using third-party payment processors for making in-app purchases or for purchasing apps. This also marks a massive change for Google, and it’s the same reason Epic Games took Google and Apple to trial, which is going to a jury trial on November 6 and has since been joined by Match.
Furthermore, CCI has also directed Google not to discriminate between its own UPI app and other UPI apps on payments in any manner. UPI is the Indian instant payment system that allows instant peer-to-peer payments, and there are multiple UPI apps in India. Google’s own GPay competes with other UPI apps on making payments for premium apps in Play Store.
The fines imposed on Google in India are minuscule compared to the revenue generated by the company in India. What hurts more is the demands CCI imposed on the company. That will hurt the company, and the company has agreed to comply with the demands. “We remain committed to our users and partners and will cooperate with the CCI on the way forward,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters.
It will be interesting to see how Google will cooperate with the demands and the changes required to comply with them, as you see, are huge. For some changes, Google has fought bigger battles in other countries, such as the Epic Games vs. Google trial. It might mean Google would be applying these demands for only the Indian market and not globally. Let us wait to see the implications of all of this for Google.