Indonesia: Google under investigation for the Play Store and Android

Indonesia announces that it has opened an investigation targeting Google, suspected of unfair commercial practices with regard to the payment conditions it imposes on users of the Play Store, its Android 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 Android applications in Indonesia.

Third-party developers offering their Android apps are charged commissions on their sales ranging from 15 to 30 percent, much higher than the 5 percent 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 the Play Store and preventing them from making updates” points out the authority.

The tech 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 smartphones and tablets using Android to pre-install its search engine and Chrome browser to eliminate competitors. According to these accusations, the group would have abused the strike force of Android used on 80% of mobile devices in the world.

European justice has thus inflicted a scathing setback on it by confirming this week a record fine – more than 4 billion euros – imposed in 2018 by Brussels for abuse of a dominant position by Android.

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