Android users in the UK may have the option to pay for apps and services on the platform through a billing system other than Google’s. Ten months after the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into the tech giant’s payment system for in-app purchases, Google offered to give developers in the region the option of using alternative options. . The investigation followed a separate investigation in which the CMA found that Apple and Google had an “effective duopoly” in mobile ecosystems, and that Google’s Play Store in particular could lead to “higher prices and reduced choice for users.” Android”.
For now, the CMA is soliciting comments on Google’s proposals and will continue to accept them until May 19. If the organization decides to make proposals legally binding based on people’s feedback, developers will be able to offer a payment system of their choice, known as “Developer Only Billing” or DOB, in the UK. They could also offer an alternative payment system to Google in a scheme known as “User Choice Billing” (UCB).
That said, Google will still charge developers service fees, which typically cost them 15 to 30 percent of their profits; it will only be a little lower than usual. When developers don’t offer Google Play billing, their service fee will be reduced by 3 percent. If they choose to offer an alternative payment method along with Google’s, and a customer chooses that, their service fee will be reduced by 4 percent.
The tech giant explained in a post about its proposals: “Service fees for distributing apps through Android and Google Play will continue to be based on digital sales through our platform. The service fee is how we support our investments. ongoing on Android and Google Play, reflects the value provided by Android and Google Play, and is how we make money as a company.”
Last year, Google allowed Android app developers to use third-party payments in several European Union states. The company also charges EU service fees no matter which billing system a user chooses, though the fees are also reduced if you pay using the alternative billing method.
Google says its commitments will be rolled out in phases if the CMA decides to adopt them. The ability to add non-Google billing will initially be available to non-game app developers. Game app developers will be able to add alternative billing systems no later than October 2023.