Google shows leniency on its Play Store billing policy, at least for now

Google Play Store
Google Play Store (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Updated wording to reflect that Google isn't "delaying" enforcement of its policy, simply that the company is providing an extension for developers that cannot meet the September 30 deadline.

What you need to know

  • Google has announced that it will give developers an extension to comply with its Play Payments billing policy.
  • The billing policy would require developers to use the Play Payments system for all in-app transactions.
  • Google is now giving developers of existing apps until March 2022 to comply with the new system.
  • The company is currently facing a lawsuit over its Play Store practices.

Google has announced in a blog post on Friday that it is providing some leniency with its Play Store billing policy, which will be required for existing apps on September 30.

Google cites difficulties expressed by developers in implementing the new system, "especially for those with engineering teams in regions that continue to be hard hit by the effects of the global pandemic."

The company says that, given the circumstances, it will soon allow developers of existing apps to request an extension to implement the new billing policy. This will give developers until March 31, 2022 to comply with the policy.

Last year, Google issued clarification on the billing policy, which serves as a way to manage in-app payments through Google. This means that apps would not be able to circumvent the Play Store to use their own billing systems. While Google says that most developers already complied with the new policy, it instilled the September 30, 2021 deadline to give other developers a year to prepare after the announcement.

While Google cites the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason for the delay, it's worth noting that the company was recently hit with a lawsuit targeting the Play Store app fees and the mandatory billing system. The complaint calls out Google for anticompetitive behavior by taking a high 30% cut on Play Store purchases. The complaint also alleges that the company promotes its own apps ahead of others by giving them prominent placement on the best Android phones.

Google says that developers can apply for the extension on July 22 through the Help Center.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

  • I always buy my subscriptions outside the Google store... Have uninstalled all of their apps too... I know they won't shed a tear but it makes me feel good... I am a reluctant Android user having been forced to give up my Windows phone... I use Microsoft and Samsung services including Bing for search... Will do everything in my power not to give any of my money to Google...
  • You are so naive, Google is all powerful, maybe to powerful but Google is helpful for me and to a lot of people and I won't trust any third party payment system unless they're reputable but other than that, I'd trust the Play Store payment system all day long. I'm a willing Android user and reluctant iPhone user. In conclusion, the Play Store is Google's house and the US government have no business telling Google how to run it's house.
  • It's not that I don't trust the payment system I just don't want Google to profit from my transaction with a third party company so I pay Amazon directly for my Amazon Music subscription... I then download the Amazon Music app from the playstore and use their service... That way the service provider gets all the profit... Google makes enough money from people like you who slavishly use all their 'free' services, they don't need anymore money from me...
  • Imagine where we are at in this world...that Google is in a position to show "leniency" to anybody... I'm looking forward to the day when big tech become de-facto sovereigns, independent of any rules, regulations, laws, jurisdictions, borders or geographic locations in general. Oh wait...they are pretty much that already... William Gibson's (cyberpunk/sci-fi noir) novels are if not completely real... on their way of becoming so with each passing day.