Google is plugging a gap for developers to avoid paying their in-app payment tax


  • Google announced in a blog post on Monday that it was plugging a loophole that allows some developers to side-step their 30% tax on payment for the app.
  • Developers will have until 31 September 2021 to integrate Google’s billing system.
  • Google also said that it would be easy for users to set up alternative app stores for their own.
  • This change could mean apps such as Netflix, Spotify and Tinder, which have avoided charging 30% on the Play Store.
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Google said it would close on a drawback that prevents large developers such as Netflix and Spotify from paying 30% commission on in-app payments.

So far, developers have been able to side-step those 30% commissions that come with using Google’s in-app payment system to let users enter their card details directly.

Google’s vice president for product management, Sameer Samat, wrote in a blog post on Monday that the company was offering “clarity” on its billing policies.

Samat wrote that “all goods sold digital goods” would have until September 30, 2021 to go into Google’s billing system.

The upshot is that apps that sell you subscriptions, digital media, or virtual items will have to shift to this system and pay Google’s 30% levy, and that could mean a price increase.

Business Insider contacted Spotify, Netflix and Tinder for comment.

Samat wrote that Google’s own apps would also be subject to commission, and that the change would only affect less than 3% of developers.

Google’s announcement comes after a drawn-out battle between Apple and developers over the same mandatory commissions on the App Store.

This resulted in an alliance on Thursday by major developers including Spotify, Epic Games and Match Group, called the “Alliance for App Fairness”. This comes even after Apple waived its normal fee for Facebook’s convenience in a rare concession.

Epic Games is currently suing both Apple and Google over their fees.

Unlike Apple, which only allows iOS devices to support its App Store, Samat wrote in his blog post that Google plans to make it easier for users to get their apps from locations other than the official Play Store .

“We believe that developers should have a choice in how they distribute their app and the store should compete for the consumer and developer business,” Samat wrote, adding that next year Android The release of 12 will include functionality to make it easier for users. To install an optional App Store on your phone.

However, some nuances appear here. Samat suggested that developers not be able to tell users how to avoid Google’s in-app tax within the Google Play app.

He wrote, Our emphasis: “Developers have asked if they can communicate directly with their customers about pricing, offers and alternative ways to pay beyond their app via email, or other channels.

“To clarify, Google Play has no limit on such communications outside A developer app

Google’s posts are moving towards allegations of anti-competitive behavior.

Developers have complained in the past that Apple produces monopoly power only on iOS devices by allowing them to use its App Store, forcing developers to pay its 30% paid commission. Google Android allows users to install applications from stores other than their Play Store, although the Play Store is still the primary way most people access the app.

Google is currently under a particularly contradictory investigation in the US, with the Department of Justice (DOJ) getting ready to announce an investigation into the company – although this investigation is reportedly based on Google’s dominance as a search engine Will focus on

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