Rumor: Google will intervene on Play Store apps that bypass payment policies

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Google will probably pay more attention to the payment methods that applications in the Play Store offer. These are apps that bypass Google’s payment method and thus prevent a 30 percent commission from being paid.

Bloomberg news agency reports this, based on unnamed sources who are familiar with the matter. Google would like to ‘clarify’ a rule that the provision of paid services for Play Store apps requires that Google’s payment system is used. Developers will be given time to tweak their apps after the new rules go into effect, so the apps won’t be removed from the application store right away, Bloomberg sources said. In a response, a Google spokesperson did not specifically comment on the reporting, but did confirm the rule that Google’s payment system must be used.

Netflix and Spotify, among others, circumvent the rules by letting customers pay for subscriptions in the app with a credit card, instead of Google Pay. As a result, they bypass the 30 percent commission that providers of in-app purchases have to pay to Google. In the long term, this should therefore no longer be possible with the tightening of control. Incidentally, Google previously removed Fortnite from the Play Store because publisher Epic Games introduced its own payment system.

If Google is actually going to tighten its policy, the timing would be striking. Competitor Apple is under fire because of its commission policy at several large companies, including Spotify and Epic Games. Both companies recently formed a coalition to lobby against the mandatory 30 percent remittance for in-app purchases.

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