Earlier in September, a band of reputable app makers founded the “Coalition for App Fairness” to encourage both Apple and Google to lower their in-app purchase fees.
Less than two weeks after that, a new assembly of startups seems underway to do the same thing. This time, these are all solely Indian startups, and their aim seems positioned only at the Google Play Store.
Initially, there were just 60 established startups founders taking part in the move. It didn’t take too long for the group to increase to over 150 CEOs, startup founders, tech entrepreneurs, and app makers. The list of involved entrepreneurs included high profile names such as Vijay Shekhar (PayTM), Deep Kalra (MakeMyTrip), and executives from ShareChat, RazorPay, etc.
Currently, Google commands 99% of the smartphone market in India. Google’s cut on every in-app payment is to be increased to 30%, which is seen as unfair and that Google is taking advantage of its “monopolistic hold” on the app market in India.
The conspired solution is a new app market that will be less restrictive than Google’s Play Store and will take a smaller cut from in-app purchases.
Vishal Gondal (GOQii) confirmed all that to TechCrunch and spoke of an alternative app store that could be of immense help to the app ecosystem within India. Vishal also said that the upcoming coalition did not have a name, form, structure, or plan on who would lead the charge.
The banding of the Indian technopreneurs was even lauded by Vivek Wadhwa, adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Engineering. Mr. Wadhwa even compared Silicon Valley’s tech giants with the notorious East India Company. In his statement to TechCrunch, he said that today’s tech companies “pose a similar risk.”
Some of the participating members are even hopeful of the government stepping up to help their movement. But so far, it is unknown whether someone from the movement has asked for an official meeting with government officials.
Google has not responded to the recent developments in the world’s second-largest internet market.