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    Google temporarily reinstates Indian apps after government talks

    Alphabet-owned Google has consented to temporarily reinstate Indian apps previously removed from its Play Store, after intense discussions with IT and Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and startup representatives. The talks aimed to resolve the issue surrounding the company’s app payment policies, which led to the delisting of several Indian apps, including prominent ones like Bharat Matrimony and Shaadi.com, last week.

    “We have had very good meeting with the startup community as well as with Google and finally both sides have agreed that Google will list all the apps with the same status as on Friday morning and this is a good resolution of the issue,” minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told PTI. “In parallel, Google as well as the start up community will work for arriving at a long-term resolution of whatever issues they are facing,” he added.

    The American tech major announced to remove 10 Indian apps on March 1 for not complying with its in-app payment system policy. The tech giant’s policy mandates a service fee ranging from 11% to 26% on in-app purchases, a move criticized by many local developers for its impact on their revenue models. According to a TechCrunch report, the delisted apps include Shaadi, Matrimony.com, Bharat Matrimony, Naukri.com, 99acres, Kuku FM, Stage, Altt, and QuackQuack.

    In response to the subsequent discussions and as a gesture of goodwill, Google announced a temporary reinstatement of the delisted apps, offering them a reprieve while a long-term solution is sought. This interim arrangement includes the continuation of Google’s service fees, albeit with extended payment timelines for the affected companies.

    The controversy surrounding Google’s payment policy is not new. However, the recent delistings and the company’s firm stance on enforcing its business model prompted a broader discussion about market fairness and the rights of local developers.

    Author

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    Monika Asthana

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