Amazon revealed this week that customers will no longer be able to buy ebooks from the Kindle or Amazon apps on Android, thanks to Google’s aggressive crackdown on in-app payments on its platform. The move apes a similar issue that Kindle fans have had on Apple’s devices forever. And Amazon recently removed audiobook purchasing from its Audible app on Android as well.
Starting June 1, Google will require all Play Store apps to use its Google Play Billing platform for in-app purchases, and apps that don’t comply will be removed from the store. Amazon, the world’s largest retailer, obviously has its own billing platform and will not accede to the 10 to 30 percent tax that Google’s billing platform will require on top of every purchase.
The difference between Apple and Google in this regard, to date, is that Apple has always required app makers to follow the rules, while Google has allowed many app makers, including key partners like Amazon, to skirt them. But Google has reversed course.
That said, the timing is curious given all the regulatory and legal scrutiny that Apple and Google are now under because of their unfair app store policies.