“Google is bluntly applying unfair, coercive and monopolistic business practices in the Indian market.”
New Delhi: The micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) sector in India is reeling from “additional” financial stress as Google updated its terms of service for businesses in India, requiring such businesses to pay out the less than four times what they had to pay just six months ago. The policy update is being called “coercive, unfair and monopolistic” business practices by the industry, which was otherwise on the road to recovery from losses suffered due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Google’s updated “Business Use Policy”, for subscription to Google email and data storage, every business will now be required to subscribe to a 2 terabyte data storage plan. (TB) once the basic subscription for a storage capacity of 30 GB has been exhausted. .
Additionally, MSMEs claim that unlike the previous policy, where companies had the option to choose storage for a certain number of employees, Google has now made it mandatory to select 2TB of storage for each employee once the base storage of 30 GB is exhausted by the company, quadrupling the financial burden for this sector.
Vishal Shah, co-founder and CEO of Synersoft technologies Pvt Ltd, has written an open letter to Google as well as Ministry of Commercial Affairs, Competition Commission of India, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of MSMEs , asking for their intervention to help the sector. In his letter, Shah wrote: “Google is bluntly applying unfair, coercive and monopolistic business practices in Indian markets, ironically hurting Indian MSMEs, most of whom are on the road to recovery. Such an arbitrary policy change will force Indian MSMEs to pay an additional Rs 1,500-5,000 crore per year. The net present value of these additional annual outflows could be between Rs 15,000 crore and Rs 50,000 crore.
Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, Shah further explained how this new policy change by Google will hurt India’s MSME sector. He said, “Let me explain the problem and why I say it is unfair, coercive and monopolistic. These are specific policy changes regarding Google Workspace, formerly G-Suite. Suppose I own an MSME with 50 computer users. I took 30GB G-Suite Basic storage space for each team member for the past four years and paid Rs 125,000 per year (Rs 2,500 per user per year). Over time, two of my senior colleagues and I needed more storage space, Google gave us 100 GB of additional storage space for Rs 1,300 per year per user. So, three of us have 130 GB of storage each for Rs 3,800 per user per year and the rest of the 47 users have 30 GB of storage each. My total annual output is Rs 128,900. All my data is on Google Cloud and my business communication is on Google. In a nutshell, I am extremely addicted to Google. »
“Then Google announced the rebranding of G-Suite to Google Workspace with specific policy changes. We are advised that additional 100GB storage is no longer available. Need to upgrade to “Business Standard” , which has a minimum storage of 2TB and costs Rs 10,100 per year per user.They also said that if you need more than 30GB of storage in a single account, you should upgrade all accounts to 2TB storage. So now because I need 130GB for a few users, I’m forced to upgrade all 50 accounts to 2TB storage at a 400% higher price. That’s equivalent to an exit annual of Rs 505,000 from Rs 128,900. This is unfair,” Shah added.
Shah further told this correspondent that Google knew that not all users in a company would need 2TB of storage and therefore, despite charging for that amount of storage, Google would not would not be required to create such a large infrastructure for data storage.
After Shah raised the concern, social media was abuzz with several MSMEs speaking out against Google’s “arbitrary” policy. Many MSMEs have also complained about how Google has changed its ‘exit barrier’ policy, where if a company wants to leave the Google service because of the high cost, Google will not allow the full data to be transferred. business in a single day, but rather slowly and with limited bandwidth.
Raghunandan Jagdish, CEO of Nandan GSE Pvt Ltd, wrote on social media that he had to migrate his 35 users, but Google had “suddenly” restricted email access to his employers, forcing him to pay Rs 350 000 against Rs 75,000 that he previously paid to Google for the same service.
The Sunday Guardian contacted Google for a response to this report, however, questions from this newspaper elicited no response up to press time.