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Paytm, other startups looking at ways to challenge Google

Dozens of technology startups have considered forming a new startup association aimed chiefly at lodging protests with the government and courts against the US tech giant, says a report

October 05, 2020 / 06:48 PM IST

Angry over Google's "unfair practices", dozens of Indian Technology startups are looking for ways to challenge the US tech giant, including by lodging complaints with the government and courts, Reuters has reported.

The news agency said entrepreneurs held two video conferences this week to discuss the matter.

"It's definitely going to be a bitter fight," Reuters quoted Dinesh Agarwal, CEO of e-commerce firm IndiaMART. "Google will lose this battle. It's just a matter of time."

According to the report, executives have discussed forming a new startup association aimed chiefly at lodging protests with the government and courts against the US tech giant.

Some startups in the country say Google exerts excessive control over the types of apps and other services they can offer, since nearly 99 percent of the smartphones in India run on Google’s Android mobile operating system.

Also Watch | Business Insight: Why Google's new revenue-sharing policy is turning into a raging issue


Google, however, denies the allegation.

The development comes after Google removed the leading Indian payments app, Paytm, from its Play Store over alleged policy violations.

Though the app returned to Play Store in a few hours, the move drew a sharp rebuke from founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma.

Sharma called Google the “Big daddy” over a video call on September 29, according to an attendee cited by Reuters.

“If we together don’t do anything, then history will not be kind to us. We have to control our digital destiny,” the news agency quoted Sharma as saying.

Earlier in the week, Google made matters worse by enforcing a 30 percent commission on in-app payments.

Over two dozen executives slammed the decision over a call on October 2 and considered filing anti-trust complaints against Google.

Sports technology firm Dream Sports, backed by US hedge fund Tiger Global, social media company ShareChat and digital payments firm PhonePe said to have participated in the call.

A senior tech official told the news agency that the conflict “is counterproductive to what Google has been doing”.

“It’s a reputation issue. It’s in the interest of Google to resolve this issue,” he said.

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Oct 3, 2020 08:30 pm
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