OAKLAND, California – Google said it would no longer allow any apps to bypass its payment system in the Google Play Store, giving the company a cut in in-app purchases.
Google said in a blog post on Monday that it provided “clarity” in the billing guidelines because there was confusion among some developers about the types of transactions that require the use of the app store’s billing system.
Google has had a policy of taking 30 percent cuts in payments made within apps offered by the Google Play Store, but some developers, including Netflix and Spotify, have circumvented the requirement by asking users for a credit card to pay them directly. Google said that by September 30, 2021
The fees collected by Google and Apple’s app stores have become a particularly controversial topic in recent months after Epic Games, the maker of the popular game Fortnite, sued Apple and Google, claiming they broke antitrust rules with the commissions they charge.
Developers have opposed the 30 percent cut required by Google and Apple, saying it is an inflated digital tax that hinders their ability to compete. And because the two companies control almost all of the world’s smartphones, many developers claim that they have no choice but to follow their guidelines and pay the commission.
Google has claimed that it allows other companies to operate app stores within the Android software. On Monday, the company said it would make changes to next year’s version of Android to make it easier to use other app stores on its devices without compromising security.
This is an evolving story. It will be updated.