Google targeted by an investigation on the payment system of its application platform

Indonesia announced on Thursday September 15 that it had opened an investigation targeting Google, suspected of unfair commercial practices with regard to the payment conditions it imposes on users of Google Play, its mobile application download platform. The Indonesian authorities suspect in particular Google “of having abused its dominant position”, to impose conditions of sale in its favor, and of “discriminatory practices in the distribution of digital applications in Indonesia”.

Google Play is the main platform for downloading mobile applications in Indonesia, a country with 270 million inhabitants. Third-party developers offering their apps there are charged commissions on their sales ranging from 15% to 30%, much higher than the 5% charged by other payment systems, according to an investigation by the Indonesian competition authority. But “developers cannot refuse this obligation, because Google can impose penalties on them by removing their applications from Google Play and preventing them from making updates”, points out the authority.

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Contacted by AFP, Google was not immediately reachable to comment on this information. The American internet giant is already the target of similar investigations in several other countries and has been the subject of the first convictions. Google is also accused of having improperly forced manufacturers of phones and tablets using its Android operating system to pre-install its search engine and Chrome browser to eliminate competitors. According to these accusations, he would have abused the strike force of Android used on 80% of mobile devices in the world.

European justice thus inflicted a scathing setback on it by confirming on Wednesday a record fine – more than four billion euros – imposed in 2018 by Brussels for abuse of a dominant position by Android. This file is one of the three major disputes opened by Brussels against Google, whose practices are also disputed in the United States and Asia. In September 2021, the South Korean competition authority fined Google nearly $180 million for abuse of a dominant position in the market for mobile applications and operating systems.

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