Indonesian antitrust agency launches investigation into Google app payments


JAKARTA, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Indonesia’s antitrust agency (KPPU) said on Thursday it was investigating potential unfair business practices by Google over its use of proprietary payment services for its Google software distribution platform. Play store.

The move follows similar investigations by antitrust regulators globally involving Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O).

“KPPU suspects Google of having committed abuse by using its dominant position, conditional sales and discriminatory practices in the distribution of digital applications in Indonesia,” it said in a statement.

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An initial investigation found that since June 1, Indonesian app developers were required to use Google’s payment system, which charges 15% to 30% fees, the KPPU said.

The amount charged by Google Pay Billing is much higher than other services, which cost less than 5% before the requirement took effect, he said.

If the apps did not comply, they risked being removed from the Google Play Store, he added.

KPPU said Google controlled a 93% market share in the country of 270 million people which has a rapidly growing digital economy.

In a response on Friday, Google said earlier this month that it had rolled out the next phase of its user-choice billing pilot in Indonesia, allowing developers to offer users an alternative billing system. alongside Google Play’s billing system.

“We look forward to working with the KPPU to demonstrate how Google Play supports developers,” a Google spokesperson said in an email response.

Google has been fined more than 8 billion euros ($7.99 billion) by the European Union over the past decade for anticompetitive practices related to its comparison shopping service, its shopping system. mobile exploitation and its advertising service.

A top European court on Wednesday upheld a ruling that it breached competition rules and fined the company a record 4.1 billion euros. Read more

South Korea’s telecommunications regulator said in August it planned to investigate app store operators, including Google, over alleged violations of the In-App Payments Act.

Seoul passed a law last year dubbed the “anti-Google” law, which prohibits major app store operators from forcing software developers to use their payment systems, preventing them from charging commissions on apps. in-app purchases. Read more

The KPPU will conduct the investigation over the next 60 days and an official said that if Google is found to have breached anti-monopoly laws, it could be fined up to 50% of the net profit made in the during the period.

($1 = 1.0007 euros)

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Reporting by Stefanno Sulaiman in Jakarta; Additional reporting by Fanny Poktin in Singapore; Editing by Gayatri Suroyo and Ed Davies

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