Google’s policies arbitrary, above the laws of country, says Paytm

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Sep 20, 2020

Vijay Shekhar Sharma backed Paytm on Sunday and said Google and its employees are making policies which are over and above the laws of the country, and are arbitrarily implementing them. Paytm made its way back into Google’s Play Store on Friday hours after it was removed allegedly for violating the Internet giant’s policy on unregulated gambling apps.

“There is a bigger question here that the Indian start-up ecosystem and developers should think about. As a start-up, we are running law-abiding businesses. Google and its employees are making policies which are over and above the laws of our country, and are arbitrarily implementing them, Paytm said in a blog post. “We were forced to comply with Google’s mandate of removing our UPI cashback offer and scratch cards to get re-listed,” Paytm said. Paytm said that Google owns Android which is the operating system on over 95 per cent of smartphones in India. Google has enormous control over which apps are downloaded. It also makes billions in advertising revenues from the Indian start-ups that make these apps. In many cases like maps, email, payments, shopping and cloud storage, Google also has apps that compete with other apps, , it said.

“On September 18 at 11:30 am, we received an email from Google Play Support informing that the Paytm Android app had been delisted. This was the first time that Google was sending us a notification regarding our UPI cashback & scratch cards campaign. We were not given any opportunity to respond to their concerns or put forth our views,” Paytm said.

“We maintain that our cashback campaign was within guidelines, as well as all laws of the land. It is not related to gambling in any manner whatsoever,”it added. Paytm said Google’s own payment app, Google Pay regularly runs similar campaigns in India.

A Google spokesperson responded that “offering cashback and vouchers alone do not constitute a violation of our Google Play gambling policies. Last week we reiterated our Play Store gambling policies. Our policies don’t allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting, including daily fantasy sports in India.”

Published on September 20, 2020
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