Google is looking to stop companies from circumventing its normal 30% Google Play Store fees.
Like the Apple App Store, the Google Play store imposes a 30% fee on all sales through the store. Until now, however, companies could circumvent Google’s fees, a practice Google is now looking to end.
One key area where Google differs from Apple, however, is that Google plans to make it easier to use third-party app stores. Sameer Samat, Vice President, Product Management, highlights what Google is planning:
We will be making changes in Android 12 (next year’s Android release) to make it even easier for people to use other app stores on their devices while being careful not to compromise the safety measures Android has in place. We are designing all this now and look forward to sharing more in the future!
At the same time, Google is giving companies one year to make the necessary changes to be compliant with Google’s policies:
Again, this isn’t new. This has always been the intention of this long standing policy and this clarification will not affect the vast majority of developers with apps on Google Play. Less than 3% of developers with apps on Play sold digital goods over the last 12 months, and of this 3%, the vast majority (nearly 97%) already use Google Play’s billing. But for those who already have an app on Google Play that requires technical work to integrate our billing system, we do not want to unduly disrupt their roadmaps and are giving a year (until September 30, 2021) to complete any needed updates. And of course we will require Google’s apps that do not already use Google Play’s billing system to make the necessary updates as well.
Google’s plans raise the stakes even more for the legal case Epic has brought against both Apple and Google, claiming their fees are unfair and anticompetitive.