ADIF wants India to do a South Korea against Google

Bengaluru: A grouping of Indian internet entrepreneurs and startups on Tuesday called for “proactive legislative action” against Google by Indian regulators in the backdrop of South Korea
fining the American tech giant $177 million for hampering the development of rivals to its Android OS.

The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF)—a 350-member grouping that was founded by Sairee Chahal of Sheroes, Murugavel Janakiraman of and Ritesh Malik of Innov8—said that the Korea Fair Trade Commission’s (KFTC) verdict should strengthen and expedite the antitrust probe against Google in India.

On Tuesday, the KFTC banned Google from forcing companies to sign anti-fragmentation agreements with it, which it said prevented manufacturers such as Samsung and LG from developing or using modified versions of the Android OS. Google has said it will appeal the decision by the South Korean regulator.

“Given Google’s presence and dominance in multiple key markets is tied to the health of the digital and internet economy it becomes pertinent for the Indian Government, and its key regulatory institutions involved to take note and enact legislative actions for the benefit of our ecosystem and our startups,” said Sijo Kuruvilla George, executive director at Alliance of Digital India Foundation.

He added that multiple instances of abuse of dominance and anti-competitive behaviour of Google are coming to the fore in several markets the company operates in.

“While the quantum of fine per se will likely not make any dent to the Big Tech giant, the action by the commission is yet another scathing indictment of Google’s conduct and abuse of dominance,” George said.

has previously taken on Apple and Google over their policy to disallow developers to offer users in-app payment options that were outside of their own respective ecosystems, while also charging developers an exorbitant fee of 30% of every in-app purchase made by users of the app.

Earlier this week, the grouping said that it hoped the Indian government would enact laws to ensure the interests of Indian startups and entrepreneurs was safeguarded after a US court struck down some of Apple’s App Store rules and forced the company to allow developers to send their users to send their users to other payment systems not controlled by Apple.

ADIF has also pointed to South Korea’s recent legislation banning technology platforms, including Google and Apple, from forcing developers and companies to only use their proprietary app store billing systems, stating that any legislation on the issue will set a precedent for other nations to adopt and build on.



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