India Could Take On Apple, Google With Its Own App Store –

As criticism of the app stores run by Apple and Google heats up in the U.S., India is now reportedly planning to launch its own app store as an alternative.

In the U.S., the nonprofit Coalition for App Fairness emerged last week (Sept. 24) with a goal of pushing for legal and regulatory changes regarding Big Tech’s app stores, in particular.

In India, the TV channel ET Now reported on Thursday (Oct. 1) that government sources said the move would be part of a bid by the country to become more self-reliant. According to The Economic Times of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government may build up its Mobile Seva App Store for this purpose.

Economic Times sources commented that “Android has a 97 percent market share in India. So, we should intervene and hand-hold Indian startups.” The Times newspaper launched ET Now in 2009.

One key feature of the Indian government’s plan: The new app store would not charge the 30 percent fees that Google’s and Apple’s stores do.

The formation of the Coalition for App Fairness heightened the war against Apple’s App Store in particular. The coalition targets Apple, saying that “no app store should charge unreasonable or excessive fees.”

The coalition includes such companies as Spotify, Tinder owner Match Group and Epic Games, maker of Fortnite.

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The group argues that the big app stores collect hefty commissions from app developers— and continue to undercut the competition by giving unfair advantages to their own products and services. The coalition argues on its website that, currently, “One company has near-total control over the mobile ecosystem and what apps consumers get to use. After nearly a decade with no oversight, regulation or fair competition, it’s time for Apple to be held accountable.”

For its part, Google is looking to lower the boom on apps that have avoided Google Play Store rules on in-app purchase billing. Google wants a 30 percent cut of purchases inside of apps on Android. Spotify, Match Group, Netflix and Epic Games have managed to avoid that commission.



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