Food delivery apps Zomato and Swiggy received notices from Google for in-app gamification features that violate the tech giant’s Play Store guidelines.
The development comes some weeks after Paytm blocked from the Play Store for a few hours for violating Google’s policy on sports betting activities.
When contacted with Zomato, they confirmed receiving the notice and regarded it as “unfair.”
“Yes, we received a notice from Google. We believe that the notice is unfair, but we are a small company and have already realigned our business strategy to comply with Google’s guidelines,” a Zomato spokesperson replied in e-mailed response.
The spokesperson added that company would be replacing Zomato Premier League with another program by the weekend.
While Swiggy did not comment over the development and said the company has paused the in-app feature and is having a conversation with Google on this issue. Google did not comment on the matter.
Various companies trying to cash in on the ongoing Indian Premier League and have added gamification features to woo customers, enhance engagement to boost sales and business.
Paytm restored after the SoftBank-backed Paytm removed the ‘cashback’ feature linked to a game on the app.
Paytm alleged it was “arm-twisted” by the search engine major to comply with its biased Play Store regulations “that are meant to artificially create Google’s market dominance.”
Interestingly, Google had clarified that apps that choose to sell digital content through its Play Store are advised to use the Google Play billing system and pay some percentage of the in-app purchase as a fee.
Many Indian startups raised concerns around this move, saying Google cannot force Indian app developers to sell digital services by compulsorily using its billing system.
Many founders also believe that India needs a local app store to provide more choice to consumers.