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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?”Google Pay competes against SoftBank Group Corp .- and Ant Group Co .-backed Paytm, which was last valued at $16 billion, making it India’s most valuable startup. Paytm has had a “Scratch and Win” promotion on its app all along and like many of its rivals including Google Pay and Amazon Pay, lures users with cash-back promotions.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. If India wants a flourishing digital ecosystem, no one player should have such inordinate power, he said.“They are the judge and the jury,” Deora said. “They cannot be both.”

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