Oakland, California – Google said it will no longer allow some apps to circumvent its payment system within the Google Play Store that provides the company with a portion of in-app purchases.
Google said in a blog post on Monday that it provides “clarity” about billing policies because there is confusion among some developers about the types of transactions that require the use of the App Store billing system.
Google has a policy to withhold 30 percent of in-app payments offered by the Google Play Store, but some developers including Netflix and Spotify have exceeded the requirements by requiring users to have a credit card to pay directly. Google said companies have a deadline of September 30, 2021, to integrate their billing systems.
The fees collected by Google and Apple’s app stores have become a particularly controversial issue in recent months after Epic Games, the maker of the popular Fortnite game, sued Apple and Google for violating antitrust rules with their commissions.
Developers are concerned about the 30 percent cuts being demanded by Google and Apple, saying it is an inflated digital tax that hinders their ability to compete. And because the two companies control nearly all smartphones in the world, many developers feel they have no choice but to adhere to their policies and pay commissions.
Google has argued that it allows other companies to run app stores within their Android program. The company said Monday that it will make changes to next year’s version of Android to make it easier for other app stores to use on its devices without compromising safety.
This is a developing story. It will be updated.