Android Users Can Finally Use Alternate Search and Payment Methods… but Only in India

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Android users in India are about to have a few more choices for their default search engine.

Android users in India will get more control over their devices due to court ruling. Starting next month, Android users in India will be able to choose another billing system when paying for apps and in-app purchases on their smartphones, instead of going through the Play Store by default. Google will also allow users in India to select another search engine as their default right when setting up a new device. This may affect his future EU regulation.

The move follows last week’s ruling by India’s Supreme Court. The trial began late last year when the Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined Google $161 million for imposing restrictions on its manufacturing partners. Google tried to challenge the order by maintaining this kind of practice. Stall “No other jurisdiction has called for such sweeping changes,” he said of the Android ecosystem.

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Google lost that battle. His Android users in India can now select their default search engine from the initial settings screen on both smartphones and tablet devices running Android. You can choose another billing service for your app or game to avoid Google’s fees, but developers can still provide the option to use Google Play.

Google will also no longer be able to require the installation of its own branded apps to license it to run the Android OS. Indian device makers will now be able to license “individual Google apps” for pre-installation as they please, rather than having to bundle and cabdolize entire kits. Google is also updating his Android compatibility requirements for OEM partners to “build incompatible or forked variants.”

Google plans to appeal “certain aspects of CCI’s decision,” but is clearly not very happy. From the blog:

Implementing these changes across the ecosystem is a complex process, requires a lot of work on our part, and often requires support from partners, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and developers. will require a great deal of effort.

India is one of the major markets for the Android platform, so it will be interesting to see how Indian users accept the legislation. Of particular note, apps and other in-app purchases are available in India through the Play Store, where Google collects 30% from each transaction, JIO Money, Paytm, or even Amazon Pay.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because Google is already in hot water trying to maintain a pulse of transactions on the Play Store. Remember the Fortnite debacle between Epic Games and Google (and Apple)? because it said it violated the Play Store’s app store policy because it means that you didn’t receive a portion of your sales.

What’s happening in India, along with other antitrust lawsuits Google is juggling, could very well tell what’s to come for Google. Google is embroiled in a similar battle with the EU, where he has already been fined $8.24 billion for anti-competitive practices. The first charge accused Google of requiring phone makers to install the Chrome mobile browser and search tool on their devices and offering them financial incentives to put the app on their phones. And for companies that didn’t comply, Google would have cut off access to the Google Play Store, the app store that powers the entire ecosystem.

The U.S. Department of Justice also filed a second lawsuit this week against Google’s parent company, Alphabet, for its digital advertising business practices, accusing the company of “obstructing legitimate competition in the ad tech industry” in order to build a monopoly. claim. .

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