Paytm fires back at Google for ‘violating competition rules’

Paytm fires back at Google for ‘violating competition rules’

Paytm, India’s dominant digital payments startup accused Alphabet Inc.’s Google of violating competition rules after it removed the rival’s app from its Play Store on Friday for allegedly infringing its gambling policies.

“You’ve got a player which regulates India’s digital ecosystem while competing with many companies in the same ecosystem,” said Madhur Deora, president, One97 Communications Pvt., which owns Paytm. “They have all the levers and can decide which app can be brought down and when — how is that not a problem?”

The latest episode between Google and Paytm, bitter rivals which vie for users, merchants and market share, illustrates the competition in India’s fast-expanding digital economy. The country’s digital payments market is forecast to surpass $1 trillion by 2023, according to Credit Suisse, even as more rivals including Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp payments service seek to compete.

“We don’t allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting,” the search giant said on its official India blog. “This includes if an app leads consumers to an external website that allows them to participate in paid tournaments to win real money or cash prizes, it is a violation of our policies.” It declined to comment on Paytm’s specific charges.

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