By Damien Geradin (Platform Law Blog)
As has been widely reported in the press, Google has decided to adopt a more aggressive approach to the enforcement of the obligation imposed on app developers offering in-app purchases of digital goods on Google Play to use Google’s proprietary payment solution “Google Play In-App Billing” and pay the associated 30% commission.
At the same time, Google issued yesterday a blog post titled “Listening to Developer Feedback to Improve Google Play“, which detailed its new policies with respect to Google Play. This blog post was accompanied by an FAQs about Google Play Billing and referred to the new Payment Policies that will apply from 20 January 2021.
These are very important developments for the millions of app developers that rely on Google Play to distribute their apps. These developments come at an interesting time, where Google has been sued by Epic Games in the U.S. and the European Commission is investing Apple’s App Store’s practices in the EU. Google and Facebook are also facing greater pressure from major app developers, which have set up the Coalition for App Fairness and set a series of principles that should govern app stores. While Google claims its new policies are informed by developer feedback, there is no question that they come at a time where app stores are under greater scrutiny by regulators and pressure from app developers…