Google will offer alternative payment methods on the Play Store

The company now allows the ability for developers to offer alternatives to its own payment system, but will still charge commissions, reviews down.

Google has made an important concession on the rules of the Play Store, its mobile application store, in order to comply in advance with the new European regulation on digital markets.

These changes, presented on Tuesday, July 19 in a press release from the company, come into force only in the European Economic Area. They now allow application developers to offer their own payment system, and no longer automatically that of the Google Play Store.

“As part of our efforts to comply with these new rules, we are announcing a new program to support alternative payment services for users in the European Economic Area”, wrote the American group on Tuesday July 19 in this press release.

The Digital Markets Regulation (DMA), approved in early July by the European Parliament and due to come into force in 2023, plans to stem the anti-competitive practices of digital giants.

Among the new rules, they could no longer promote their own services or impose the use of their technologies on users of their platforms. The economic model of Google and Apple, leaders in mobile operating systems, is based in particular on the deduction of commissions during any purchase made through them.

Games not affected

Google, however, indicates that it will agree to take a commission on transactions made within third-party applications, in order to “support investments in Android and (Google) Play”.

Its rate will be reduced by 3 points, and will therefore go from 30% to 27% for applications that have generated more than one million dollars in annual revenue, and from 15% to 12% for the smallest developers, which represent 99 % of those present on the platform.

At first, the change does not concern video game applications, but the latter – the most laudable – will be affected “before the entry into force of the DMA”, specifies however Google.

Alternative systems

Apple and Google have been engaged for months in a battle to justify the fees they charge developers around the world. They are notably attacked on this point by Epic Games (parent company of Fortnite) and Match Group (owner of Tinder).

Apple was forced earlier this year by the Dutch competition authority to allow alternative payment systems on dating apps in the country.

In November 2021, a US federal judge also ordered the iPhone maker to allow an alternative payment system within the App Store, but also found that Epic had failed to prove that Apple breached competition law.

Victoria Beurnez with AFP

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