Indonesia’s antitrust regulator, the Competition Authority (KPPU), reportedly announced today that it has launched an antitrust investigation into Google’s Play Store app store for alleged unfair competition by forcing developers to use Google’s proprietary payment system, the KPPU said in a statement. “We suspect that Google has abused its dominant position in the Indonesian App distribution market by imposing conditional sales and discriminatory practices.”
KPPU also said that a preliminary investigation found that since June 1 this year, Indonesian app developers have been required to use Google’s payment system, which charges a commission of 15 to 30 percent.
KPPU believes that the fee is much higher than other services, which usually cost less than 5 percent. kPPU also said that if developers do not comply with this requirement from Google, their apps may be taken down from the Google app store. kPPU data shows that Google controls 93 percent of the app distribution market in Indonesia.
Google has yet to comment on this.
In recent years, critics have accused Google and Apple of charging exorbitant fees for their mobile app stores. Some figures show that developers pay billions of dollars a year in total to Apple and Google, highlighting the monopoly power of the two companies.
In addition to Indonesia, several antitrust agencies around the world, including the European Union, have launched hair-trigger investigations into the Google and Apple app stores. In response to these investigations, Google has previously said that this commission charged to developers helps keep Android free and provides developers with the tools and platform to serve billions of consumers worldwide.
This investigation by the KPPU will last 60 days. An official with the agency said that if Google is found to have violated antitrust laws, it could be fined up to 50 percent of its net profits during the period of the violation.