Google in negotiations to join Indian e-commerce platform ONDC-sources, Rumors

by Munsif Vengattil, Krishna N. Das and Paresh Dave

NEW DELHI, May 27 (Reuters) – Alphabet subsidiary Google is in negotiations with the Indian government to integrate online commerce platform ONDC, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The talks follow the success of Google’s payment service under New Delhi’s initiative for financial transactions, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), said one of the sources, who both asked anonymity, not being authorized to communicate on the subject.

Although a Google spokesman declined to confirm whether negotiations were underway, ONDC chief executive T. Koshy told Reuters that Google was one of several companies with asked that it was under discussion for integration into the project.

India launched its open e-commerce network late last month to end the dominance of US e-commerce giants Amazon.com and Walmart, and unify regulation using fees charged to sellers wishing to list their products online.

Unlike companies like Amazon, Google’s existing shopping service functions solely as an online ad aggregator and does not provide order fulfillment or delivery.

ONDC’s partners, which include companies like Indian fintech Paytm, will display their ads in search results.

“One thing ONDC will definitely need is a mainstream player to drive user adoption,” said Caesar Sengupta, chief executive of fintech startup Arbo Works, which played a key role in the establishment of Google Pay in India.

The government estimates that India’s e-commerce market was worth over $55 billion in gross merchandise value in 2021 and will reach $350 billion by the end of the decade. (English version Dina Kartit, edited by Kate Entringer)


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