It’s happening, sort of. Google announced today that it would allow Android apps (but not games) to use third-party billing systems in the European Economic Area (EEA), another step forward in ending the nightmare of platform provider overbilling of developers.
“We recognize that the recent passage of the Digital Markets Act will require Google Play and other industry players to adjust their current operating model for users in the European Economic Area (EEA),” Google director Estelle Werth announced. “We are committed to meeting these new requirements while ensuring that we can continue to keep people safe on our platforms and invest in Android and Play for the benefit of the entire ecosystem.”
To meet this legal requirement, Google will support “billing alternatives” for in-app payments for EEA users. This means that developers of non-gaming apps can now offer EEA users alternatives to Google Play’s billing system when they are paying for digital content and services.
It’s not entirely open, unfortunately. Providers of alternative payment systems can only offer fee structures that are 3 percent lower than Google’s. So these fees will be 12 percent or 27 percent, depending on the size of the developer. And Google Play’s billing system is still a requirement for games because that’s where the vast majority of in-app payments—and Google’s Play Store revenues—come from. Likewise, all apps and games distributed outside the EEA will continue to have to use Google’s payment system until regulators elsewhere wake up and put a stop to that.
Tagged with Google Play