Listing, Delisting, Relisting - Know What's Happening With Google & Startups

Google Play Store's clash with Indian startups escalated as the search giant delisted and relisted over service fee dispute. The Indian govt intervenes, opposing Google's actions. IT Minister summons Google and affected developers for a crucial meeting.

Swati Dayal
New Update
Let's talk it out

TICE Creative Image

It has been a chaotic week for Google Play Store and Indian startups after series of events like de-listing and relisting of these startups were done after intervention by the Central government.

Google took a step back by restoring some of the Indian apps it delisted from its Play Store on Friday. This move follows a dispute over non-payment of service fees, sparking strong reactions from the Indian government and tech community. The restoration comes just hours after the Center's stern opposition, emphasizing the critical role of the startup ecosystem in the Indian economy and rejecting the authority of big tech firms to decide their fate.

Calling big tech giants like Google “This is the new Digital East India Co”, Founder Anupam Mittal sought immediate intervention from the government to prevent Google from “charging 60-70% of their revenue”.


Several startups that were delisted from Google Play Store on Friday are now back online after they accepted a compromise formula offered by the US technology giant. The relisted apps include,,, and Bharat Matrimony.

Government's Strong Stand

IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, reacting strongly to the delisting, stated on Saturday that developers from Google and affected firms have been summoned for a meeting next week. Vaishnaw emphasized that such measures by Google cannot be permitted, and the fate of Indian startups must not be left at the mercy of any large tech corporation.

Vaishnaw Reiterates Govt’s Commitment to Startup Protection

In response to the controversy, Vaishnaw asserted, "India is very clear, our policy is very clear... our startups will get the protection they need." He assured that the government would meet with Google and the delisted app developers next week to resolve the dispute. Vaishnaw firmly stated that this kind of delisting cannot be permitted, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding the energy and innovation of the youth and entrepreneurs from the policies of big tech.

Highlighting India's achievement in building a robust startup ecosystem with over one lakh startups and more than 100 unicorns in just a decade, Vaishnaw stressed that the potential of the youth and entrepreneurs should not be dictated by the policies of major tech corporations.

Dispute Over Service Fees

The core of the dispute lies in Google's imposition of a service fee ranging from 11% to 26% on in-app payments. This decision came after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) ordered the scrapping of the previous system, which charged 15% to 30%. Google proceeded to delist several apps on Friday, citing that 10 companies, including many well-established ones, had avoided paying the fees despite benefiting from the Play Store platform.

Explaining how Google’s move is hitting the startups, Anupam Mittal said, “The core issue stems from Apple & Google’s attempts to move the open Internet to a closed app ecosystem where they can lord over the Internet economy. They have already succeeded in muscling large swathes of the Internet and now want 100% dominance. Current issue - Google wants to charge anywhere between 11-30% to app developers if they have a premium service – Developers will file a tax return with Google every month so that they can audit & charge.”

Google on Friday said in a Blogpost that "After giving these developers more than three years to prepare, including three weeks after the Supreme Court’s order, we are taking necessary steps to ensure our policies are applied consistently across the ecosystem, as we do for any form of policy violation globally.”

Supreme Court's Decision Fuels Google's Actions

The dispute further intensified as the Supreme Court did not provide interim relief to companies behind the delisted apps in their battle against Google's app marketplace fee. This lack of relief seemingly emboldened Google to proceed with its removal actions, prompting concerns about the impact on popular Indian apps, including matrimony apps, and eliciting cries of foul play from the affected startups and well-known founders.

Path Forward: A Crucial Meeting to Resolve the Dispute

With tensions escalating, the scheduled meeting between the government, Google, and the affected app developers next week takes on added significance. It presents an opportunity for stakeholders to engage in meaningful dialogue and find a resolution that protects the interests of Indian startups while addressing the concerns raised by Google over service fee payments. The outcome of this meeting is eagerly awaited as the Indian startup ecosystem navigates through this challenging chapter in its evolution.

Join Our Thriving Entrepreneurial Community



Follow TICE News on Social Media and create a strong community of Talent, Ideas, Capital, and Entrepreneurship. YouTube  | Linkedin | X (Twittrer) | Facebook | News Letters