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September 22, 2020Blog Posts

Payments giant Paytm says Google’s Android monopoly is of grave concern to Indian start-ups

CNBC

Google’s monopoly over Android — the mobile operating system used by most smartphones around the world — is a major concern for Indian start-ups, a top executive at online payments firm Paytm said Tuesday. 

Paytm has become a ubiquitous name in India’s digital payments sector. The mobile app is used by millions of Indians to pay for things including utility bills, groceries, recharging mobile connections, or movie tickets. Paytm is also a fully licensed digital bank

Last Friday, the app was temporarily removed from the Google Play Store. Paytm said the U.S. tech giant told the Indian tech firm its app contained “content that doesn’t comply with (Google’s) Gambling policy.”

On the same day, Google said in a separate blog post it doesn’t allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting. It did not name Paytm, but Reuters reported that the U.S. tech giant confirmed the app’s removal due to policy violations.

Paytm had to remove a cashback campaign before the app was restored on the Google Play Store about eight hours later, according to Madhur Deora, president of Paytm.

“I think we are focused on some of the bigger questions that this raises, which is that effectively, Google has a monopoly on the Android ecosystem in India, which is 95% of phone users. And they can basically decide what policies they want to make and how arbitrarily they want to enforce them,” Deora said on CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia.” 

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