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Google will allow third-party billing for apps and games in India's Play Store

Last year, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined Google for restricting third-party payment services and is investigating the company for other anti-competitive practices. After Google’s recent Supreme Court order to block CCI was rejected, the company had to change its agreements with phone makers and ease rules for users.

Starting next month, Android users in India will be able to use third-party billing services for apps and games. They can also choose a different default search engine using the selection screen during setup. These specific rules apply only to India, but other regions have similar rules in place.

As for smartphone manufacturers, they will be allowed to authorize individual Google apps to be pre-installed on the devices they ship. Previously, manufacturers were forced to bundle the entire Google suite.

Google will continue to appeal the CCI’s decision, but for now it is working to implement the following changes:

  • OEMs will be able to obtain individual Google application licenses for pre-installation on their devices.
  • Android users have always been able to customize their devices to suit their preferences. Indian users can now choose their default search engine via a selection screen that will appear soon when users set up a new Android smartphone or tablet in India.
  • We are updating the Android Compatibility Requirements to introduce changes for partner builds of incompatible or forked variants.
  • Starting next month, user-selected billing will be available for all apps and games. User Choice Billing allows developers to allow users to choose an alternative billing system as well as Google Play’s billing system when purchasing in-app digital content.

  • Android has always supported installing applications from various sources, including through sideloading, which involves downloading applications directly from the developer’s website. We recently made changes to the Android installation process and auto-update feature for sideloaded apps and the App Store, while ensuring users are aware of potential security risks.
  • A few days ago, Google also agreed to allow third-party app stores to be listed on the Google Play store, also under the pressure of CCI (for details, please check Reuters reports).




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