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The move by Google to enforce the use of its in-app payment system has met with resistance from developers, as well as Apple is facing backlash for introducing similar rules.
Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) has clarified its policies on in-app purchases to developers who run transactions in apps on the Google Play Store. Per the official announcement signed by Sameer Samat, Vice President, Product Management, the clarification became necessary following feedback from developers on how Google can continue to make Android better with each release and improve how mobile app stores, including how in-app transactions work.
The clarification entails that Google will try to enforce its existing rule demanding developers to utilize its in-app payment system. The tech giant said the policy will take effect in about a year from now, September 30, 2021, in order to give developers enough time to make the necessary adjustments.
Samat indicated that the rule applies only to about 3% of apps that demand users to pay for downloads or which offers in-app purchases for products. He also revealed that the adjustment will only apply to about 3% of those who offer such payment options as the majority already follow Google’s billing system policies.
“We want to be sure our policies are clear and up to date so they can be applied consistently and fairly to all developers, and so we have clarified the language in our Payments Policy to be more explicit that all developers selling digital goods in their apps are required to use Google Play’s billing system,” Samat wrote. He added:
“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.”
Following this announcement, the shares of GOOGL ended the trading with a 1.36% rise to close at $1,458.66. The momentum also gained more traction in the pre-market with a 0.43% addition.
Google Policy for In-App Purchases, Source of Monopoly?
The move by Google to enforce the use of its in-app payment system has met with resistance from developers, as well as Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) is facing backlash for introducing similar rules.
As CNBC reported, Google removed Fortnite, a gaming app developed by Epic Games, as the app was updated in August to circumvent Google’s payment policies. The move has sparked a series of lawsuits.
The company has hinted that it’s not monopolizing its system as it is working to make the downloads of apps on other stores – such as Samsung Galaxy App Stores – easier and safer for developers and users alike. Apps downloaded on third party stores are subjected to the stores’ “business model and consumer features,” Samat noted.