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Central ministers hold several meetings with Google, app firms amid row over billing policy

Google relisted several apps in Play Store hours before its officials met the Union IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw over discriminatory billing policy

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 05.03.24, 11:11 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

Central ministers on Monday held multiple meetings with Google and start-ups that have been delisted from the tech giant's Play Store, but no solution is on sight with Indian companies accusing the US giant of abusing its dominant position.

Google relisted several apps in Play Store hours before its officials met the Union IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw over discriminatory billing policy.

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In separate meetings with minister of state for IT and electronics Rajeev Chandrashekhar and Vaishnaw, the troubled start-ups sought support from the government.

The raging dispute with start-ups is over Google imposing a fee of 11 per cent to 26 per cent on in-app payments after anti-competition body CCI ordered scrapping of an earlier system of charging 15-30 per cent.

Vaishnaw declined to share details on the meeting, he said, "I will share when it is finalised."

AI advisory

The Centre's advisory on AI is applicable to significant players and untested platforms, and not on start-ups, Chandrasekhar said.

After a controversy over a response of Google's AI platform to queries related to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government issued an advisory to label under-trial AI models and prevent hosting unlawful content.

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