In a bold critique of Google, Shaadi.com’s CEO Anupam Mittal compares the tech giant’s dominance to the East India Company’s historical colonialism, accusing Google of imposing a hefty “Google Tax” on startups.
What Happened? In an interview with CNBC, Mittal condemns Google’s practices, stating they charge startups 20-50% for distribution and protection against competitors.
He criticizes Google for demanding 15-30% of revenue from apps on their Play Store, on top of significant advertising revenues. Google’s manipulation of search results to promote competitors, forcing companies to bid against themselves for visibility, particularly irks Mittal.
Highlighting Google’s recent introduction of the Google Play Billing System, Mittal argues that the changes are superficial and evade legal scrutiny. These changes could lead to additional charges of 11-29% on app revenues.
Unfair pressure? He sees this as Google’s way of pressuring app developers to use their services, thereby creating an unfair marketplace by charging fees much higher than the services’ actual cost.
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Mittal, voicing his concern on X, equates Google’s approach to a “Digital East India Company,” exploiting startups similar to colonial practices. Despite the Competition Commission of India’s penalties against Google, Mittal fears that Google’s vast resources could delay justice, particularly affecting smaller startups. This parallel draws attention to the need for regulatory intervention to level the playing field in the digital marketplace.
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