Delisted Indian apps return to Google Play Store after complying, seek government intervention

The policies of Apple and Google regarding their app stores have long been sources of controversy, specially when it comes to their commissions on app features for which users pay. Now, a simmering dispute between Google and prominent Indian startups has erupted into a full-blown clash – the crux of the issue lies in Google’s Play Store billing policy, which mandates developers to utilize its in-app purchase system and pay a fee ranging from 15% to 30%.

This policy was the reason behind several Indian apps being booted from Google’s Plat Store last week – at that time, the tech titan said that the apps were being pulled from the Play Store since the developers have not remained in compliance with its billing policies, adding that further action would be taken against them. Now, of the 10 Indian app developers whose apps were delisted by Google on Friday, nine had a few of their apps make a reappearance on the Play Store by Monday. Their reappearance comes after they have complied with Google’s new policies.

The removal of apps from the Play Store had a significant impact on Indian startups, many of whom, obviously rely heavily on the platform for distribution and monetization. Several prominent apps, including those from major Indian digital companies like Matrimony and, were delisted by Google. “After giving these developers 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 violation globally,” the company revealed in a previous blog post. It went on to add that over 2,00,000 Indian app developers on Google Play Store are currently compliant with its policies, while the non-compliance of the 10 companies is “creating an uneven playing field.”

From the looks of it, developers faced a dilemma in choosing between different payment options offered by Google. While some opted for the Consumption-only model to avoid service fees, others agreed to pay Google the longstanding fee of 15% or 30% through the Google Play billing system. Now, with little choice at hand, apps like,, and Bharat Matrimony were eventually restored after being removed from the Play Store. Other apps, including Info Edge’s Naukri and 99acres, audio storytelling apps Kuku FM and Stage, Alt Balaji’s Altt, and dating service QuackQuack, also made a comeback after complying with Google’s policies.

Speaking of the Indian firms, they continue to oppose the hefty fees they deem excessive and unfair. They argue that Google, already holding a dominant position in the Indian Android app market with a share of over 90%, is leveraging its power to impose its terms. This lack of viable alternatives, they claim, leaves them with little choice but to comply or face the consequences of being delisted from the Play Store, which deals a significant blow to their visibility and reach. In fact, the Indian government has made an appearance in the conflict as well – IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw expressed his concern and initiated talks with Google and the affected developers. This intervention led to a partial resolution, wherein some apps were reinstated after complying with Google’s policy, albeit under protest.

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