Google set to double down on controversial 30% Play Store cut

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

What you need to know

  • Google will start enforcing the rule that requires developers to go through the Play Store for in-app purchases.
  • Apps like Tinder and Spotify have been side-stepping this for years.
  • The changes are expected as soon as next week.

Google and Apple have come under scrutiny over their app store fees this year, and the former is set to double down on them. While many apps in the Play Store which use in-app purchases go through Google's payment systems, some companies do not. Tinder most notably switched away from the Google Play billing system last year, offering users a discount if they used their own credit cards.

A report from Bloomberg today says that Google will now be more strictly enforcing this rule. Developers who are not in compliance will be urged to update their apps to bring them in line. Aside from the afor-mentioned Tinder, popular apps like Spotify and Netflix had ignored the Google Play billing system for their own solutions.

A Google spokesperson told Bloomberg:

As an open platform, Android allows multiple app stores. In fact, most Android devices come with at least two stores right out of the box, and users can install others. For developers who choose to distribute their apps on Google Play, our policy has always required them to use Play's billing system if they offer in-app purchases of digital goods. We are always working with our partners to clarify these policies and ensure they are applied equitably and reasonably.

In essence, Google is saying that it's fine if you want to ship your app in another ap store and use whatever payment method you want. If you'd like to use the Google Play Store though, you should follow its rules.

Google is expected to push this requirement out next week and give developers time to make the required changes.

  • Lol didn't see that one coming. 😆 🤣 😂 😹
  • Is this going to preserve the cross-platform abilities (pause on one device platform and resume on another for instance) or is it going to lock people who use Google Play billing into the Android ecosystem?
  • No. Regardless of where you pay for it whatever you buy is available cross platform. If I buy a movie on Amazon via ios I can watch it on Android, PC, Xbox etc...
  • You'd think with all the talk about looking into Google and apple stores for stifling competition, they would be more cautious.
  • I think that's exactly why they're doing this now. Otherwise the argument would've been made they are selectively applying their rules, and many court cases have been won with that argument.
  • I hope this pushes Congress into action. The business practices of Apple and Google were and have been a duopoly for years. Their actions with devs and apps completely wiped out Windows and Blackberry mobile handsets. I am done with these huge tech behemoths. Congress should be ashamed of what they have allowed and the state of things. All the big players should be broken up.
  • That won't change nothing