Both Google and Apple have found themselves in hot waters globally, thanks to new policy changes that forced developers to go through their in-app billing systems, rather than using their own independent payment options. Epic-Apple Saga ring a bell?

In some countries though, such as South Korea, scrutiny has intensified enough that the Google has to allow developers in the regions to add alternative billing systems for in-app purchases for their apps. India is getting added to that list. Google is apparently acquiescing to Indian laws and regulations as it put a halt on the enforcement of its Google Play billing system for in-app purchases for app developers based in India.

The company informed its decision in an updated support page, adding that the pausing of the enforcement came as it continued to review its legal options and ensure that it could “continue to invest in Android and Play.” This pause on the enforcement is solely for the Indian market, however, and Google confirmed that the enforcement would take places for users outside of the world’s second-largest internet market.

So if Indian app developers try to entice users in other countries to make in-app transactions in their apps, them the Google Play billing system is the only option available for them.

“Following the CCI’s recent ruling, we are pausing enforcement of the requirement for developers to use Google Play’s billing system for the purchase of digital goods and services for transactions by users in India,” the support page noted. This ruling, of course, refers to the recent decisions made by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) regarding Google and its disregard and violations of the competitive norms of the country.

Following a two-year-old probe, the CCI found that Google was abusing its dominant position of its Play Store, and by making its billing system mandatory for all in-app purchases for apps on its Play Store, the company was disturbing “innovation incentives” and “the ability of both the payment processors as well as app developers to undertake technical development and innovate.”

It ordered the company to cease from restricting app developers from using third-party billing systems for in-app purchases and not take steps against apps that use third-party billing systems. To add the cherry to the cake, the CCI handed the company a hefty fine of $113 million, which had followed a previous fine of $162 million for indulging in anti-competitive practices and abusing its dominance in multiple markets. Google was not happy about it.

This is a win for the developers who have, for a long time, rallied against the Google Play Billing System. While Google had first unveiled the policy in 2020, it had informed that apps that used an alternative in-app billing system would have to remove it to comply with the new policy (which is a polite way of saying that if developers fail to comply, they will be kicked off the Play Store). Indian developers were given a longer deadline of October 31 to comply with the Payments policy, which lapsed yesterday.