Google on Friday night deleted some of the popular Indian sites from its Play Store citing Google Play billing system (GBPS). “BharatMatrimony app has been out of Google’s Play Store for more than 24 hours,” said its founder and CEO Murugavel Janakiraman.

Google had said that it would restore only those who agreed to its billing pay policies. “We are still out of the Play Store,” Janakiraman told businessline.

Other apps like KuKu FM have also not been restored in the Play Store, while is back.

In the Play Store, while looking for BharaMatrimony or KuKu FM, a message pops up saying, “this app isn’t available”.

Janakiraman said in a social media post that there were news reports mentioning Google to restore apps on Play Store after IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s intervention. “We were overjoyed but our joy was short-lived. When we reached Google, even at senior level, we were told that they will publish only those apps that agree to Google billing payment policy.”

Some of the apps that are now available including Naukri, 99acres and Shaadi, changed to consumption model and published their app. The consumption model is one of the options, where customers cannot make a payment through the app and this will lead to friction in customer experience and revenue loss. However, some app developers choose this option as this is better than not having apps at all in the Play Store, he said.

Janakiraman said the deletion of the app from the Play Store doesn’t affect existing customers. Only new users wouldn’t be able to register. “We can’t decide our next course of action. We get our apps on Play Store agreeing to Google billing and fight or fight till we get our apps back as it was earlier,” he said when asked about the options available with him.

After the deletion of the company’s app, Janakiraman in a social media post Satuday said, “What we built in 20+ years got removed by Google in a single action. It is a dark day for Indian digital startups.”

Google tried to implement GBPS a few years ago where it forced digital services apps to use their billing system and pay 15 per cent or 30 per cent of revenue compared to less than 2 per cent, which apps pay for using other payment gateways. “We went to CCI and CCI levied ₹936 crore penalty on Google,” he said.

Instead of adhering to the CCI order, Google changed their policy asking companies to pay 11 per cent or 26 per cent of commission for using a third-party billing system. Also, they introduced a third option where apps can’t collect payment through the app, Janakiraman’s post read.

So, the options are to pay either 15 per cent or 30 per cent using Google billing payment system and pay 11 per cent or 26 per cent for using third-party payment gateways. “You can’t collect payment through the app causing significant friction in the customer experiences and revenue loss. If you don’t accept any of the above, your app will be deleted. This is what Google has done to most of the popular apps today,” he said.

“This policy is applicable only to digital services apps. Google does not offer any special services for digital services apps compared to other commercial digital apps such as e-commerce apps, B2B apps and food delivery apps. While the Play Store is common for all but only digital services companies are alone forced to pay. This violates CCI order,” Janakiraman added.