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.