Tech giant Google said it is pausing enforcement of the requirement for developers to use Google Play's billing system for the purchase of digital goods and services for transactions by users in India.

The development comes days after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposed two separate penalties worth ₹1,337.76 crore and ₹936.44 crore on the tech giant for abusing its dominant position and anti-competitive practices.

"Following the CCI's recent ruling, we are pausing enforcement of the requirement for developers to use Google Play's billing system for the purchase of digital goods and services for transactions by users in India while we review our legal options and ensure we can continue to invest in Android and Play. The requirement to use Google Play's billing system applies for in-app digital content purchases for users outside of India," Google says in a statement.

Developers in India were given an additional extension until October 31, 2022 to comply due to unique circumstances with the payments landscape in the country.

"In 2021, due to unique circumstances with the payments landscape in India, we extended the deadline for developers based in India to comply with the requirement to use Google Play's billing system for in-app purchases of digital content in India. This deadline was further extended to October 31, 2022 to provide developers in India the required product support for recurring payments through convenient user payment systems, including UPI and wallets, and to also provide them more time in light of the changes to India’s recurring digital payments guidelines," the tech behemoth says.

On October 20, India's antitrust watchdog issued a cease and desist order against Google from indulging in anti-competitive practices.

The mandatory pre-installation of the entire Google Mobile Suite under Mobile Application Distribution Agreement with no option to uninstall the same and their prominent placement amounts to imposition of an unfair condition on the device manufacturers, the competition regulator said.

Google has perpetuated its dominant position in the online search market resulting in denial of market access for competing search apps, the order said, adding that the tech giant has leveraged its dominant position in the app store market for Android OS to protect its position in online general search.

"OEMs shall not be restrained from (a) choosing from amongst Google’s proprietary applications to be pre-installed and should not be forced to pre-install a bouquet of applications, and (b) deciding the placement of pre-installed apps, on their smart devices," the order read.

"Licensing of Play Store (including Google Play Services) to OEMs shall not be linked with the requirement of pre-installing Google search services, Chrome browser, YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail or any other application of Google," it added.

The CCI examined various practices of Google regarding licensing of its Android mobile operating system and various proprietary mobile applications of Google such as Play Store, Google Search, Google Chrome, and YouTube among others.

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