Google on Friday said that it was enforcing its Play Store related payments policy on ten Indian companies, including many well-established ones, that have remained non-compliant with the tech giant’s app billing policy for an extended period of time.

The enforcement of its app billing policy would entail removal of the non-compliant apps from Google Play. However, the tech giant did not disclose the specific company names against whom the action is being taken.

The domestic apps that are facing the axe from Play Store include flagship app of as well as streaming apps like Stage, Aha and the dating App Quack Quack, it is learnt.

“After giving these developers (ten companies) more than three years to prepare, including three weeks after the Supreme Court’s order, we are taking necessary steps to ensure our policies are applied consistently across the ecosystem, as we do for any form of policy policy violation globally,” said a blog post by Google on Friday. 

Google highlighted that there are over 2,00,000 Indian developers using Google Play and these developers adhere to tech giant’s policies. However, for an extended period of time, ten companies, including many well-established ones, have chosen to not pay for the immense value they receive on Google Play by securing interim protections from court. These developers comply with payment policies of other app stores, Google has said.

“While we always try to work with developers to help them through our policies and find feasible solutions, allowing the small group of developers to get differential treatment from the vast majority of developers who are paying their fair share, creates an uneven playing field across the ecosystem and puts all other apps and games at a competitive disadvantage,” Google said.

Options ahead

Google also noted that these ten developers are welcome to resubmit their apps to be listed on Google Play by electing any one of the three billing options (consumption -only basis without paying a service fee; Google Play’s billing system and alternative billing system).

In the meantime, these ten developers continue to have other options to operate their business on Android, including distribution through alternative Android app stores or directly via their websites.

Domestic start-ups had recently knocked Supreme Court’s doors in appeal against Madras High Court order that ruled that CCI is the right form to gain legal remedy.

Supreme Court, while admitting their petition, however refused to give any interim protection to the start-ups against any Google action for non-compliance of its payment policy.

“While some of the developers that were refused interim protection have started fairly participating in our business model and ecosystem, others choose to find ways to not do so,” Google said in its blog post.

Google also said that it has been fostering a vibrant tech ecosystem in India for over two decades and its commitment is steadfast. “We deeply believe in India’s potential as a global innovation hub, and with our ongoing investments, we’re honoured to have played a role in India’s thriving digital economy,” Google said