Google will allow Android developers to use rival payment systems in Europe

An Android statue is displayed in front of a building on the Google campus on January 31, 2022 in Mountain View, California. Google parent company Alphabet will report fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday after the bell rings.

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Google will allow phiaming app developers to use a rival’s payment system on their Android operating system for some European users, the company announced Tuesday.

It’s a change the company has resisted in the past and has so far not expanded beyond Europe. This move comes after the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, approved Digital Markets Acta series of rules intended to limit the market power of so-called digital gatekeepers.

The law prohibits major tech companies from prioritizing their own offerings over rivals that rely on app stores. An important bill aimed at Big Tech in the US shares similar goals but has a vote on the Senate floor has not yet been scheduled.

Google wrote in a blog post that its change, which will come into force in the European Economic Area including EU member states and several other countries, is one way to try to comply with the DMA .

App Store Operators Apple voiced concerns that allowing alternative payment systems could undermine security for users. Google said developers using other payment systems in the EEA “will need to meet appropriate user protection requirements.”

Developers who choose to use a different payment system will still be required to pay service fees for Android and the Play Store and comply with the conditions of that system. But developer fees to Google will be reduced by 3% when consumers choose a different payment system. That typically results in a shift from a 15% fee to a 12% fee for many developers, the company says.

While Google says its Play Store payment system will continue to be required for marketplace apps distributed outside of the EEA, it plans to expand alternative payment options. to game app developers for users in Europe prior to the effective date of the DMA.

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