Google notice to Swiggy, Zomato for ‘violation’ of Play Store rules

MUMBAI | BENGALURU: Food delivery apps Swiggy and Zomato have received notices from Google stating that the in-app gamification feature used by both platforms violate its Play Store guidelines, multiple sources told ET.

Zomato confirmed the development to ET and termed the notice “unfair”.

“We are a small company and have already realigned our business strategy to comply with Google’s guidelines. We will be replacing Zomato Premier League with a more exciting programme by this weekend,” a company spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for Swiggy declined to comment but said the restaurant discovery platform had temporarily paused its in-app gamification product. “Earlier, the notice was to comply with the guidelines by Thursday, but Google has given an extension. Swiggy has also asked for more clarity on Google’s policies,” a person directly aware of the matter said.

For both the food delivery companies, major cricketing event IPL has been touted as the best time to garner a larger share of consumer minds as well as wallets, and gamification features were a part of increasing engagement on the app as Zomato and Swiggy do not operate any gaming platforms, industry experts said. Google did not respond to ET’s email till press time on Wednesday.

The development comes 12 days after Paytm’s app was temporarily delisted from Google Play Store after the US-based technology behemoth said that the IPL-based cashback promotion flouted its anti-gambling policy. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the CEO of Paytm, had in an interview to ET called out Google for enforcing “arbitrary” bans of mass-market applications without regulatory consultations despite being compliant with local laws.

Sharma had called the control exerted by Google on the Indian internet space “an ecosystem concern.”

Google notice to Swiggy, Zomato for ‘violation’ of Play Store rules Google notice to Swiggy, Zomato for ‘violation’ of Play Store rules Reviewed by TechCO on 10/05/2020 Rating: 5

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