Beginning July 1, 2021, Google will reduce the fee it charges developers for selling “digital goods and services” on the Play Store by 50% – from 30% to 15% – until they reach $ 1 million annually ( a measure that will benefit 99% of professionals and, according to a company spokesman, fair, since it covers all companies). Any amount above that, complements the big tech, will be taxed according to the original approach.
Applied since the launch of the Android Market in 2008, the 30% have remained unchanged over the years and were targeted, claimed the search giant, operators and billing settlement fees. Even so, in 2018, there was a 50% reduction in fees on subscription fees charged to users that exceed one year of using the solutions.
About 3% of Android developers actually charge for downloading their apps or for digital purchases, and only 1% of them earn more than the $ 1 million limit, the company says. The new discounts now address the needs of “distribution partners and operating fees.”
“Monopoly practices” and industrial fear
Strategies like the one presented by Google are not unprecedented, since Apple, last year, created a special program for small businesses through which it also reduces fees from 30% to 15% of those that do not exceed the limit of US $ 1 million annually. If exceeded, however, the company that is automatically disconnected from the initiative and is subject to the usual charge.
Finally, the adaptations are taking place at a time when there is fierce criticism from developers regarding the policies under which they are submitted, antitrust lawsuits and debates on new laws undertaken by US authorities, who expect the offer of alternative distribution methods software and more payment options on the platforms involved.
With so many questions, there are those who remain resistant to the alleged attempts of aid from both Apple and Google: “It is frightening for the technology industry to see Google and Apple align their monopoly practices. much lower for everyone because of the competition rather than subject to their ‘divide and conquer’ tactics, “says Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games.
“It’s a self-serving move: most developers will get this new 15% fee and therefore will be less inclined to fight, but most of the revenue comes from apps with the 30% rate. So Google and Apple they can continue to inflate prices and deceive consumers with their taxes “, he defends.
“Android needs to be fully open to competition, with a genuinely level playing field across platforms, app developers and service providers. Competition in payment processing and app distribution is the only way to a fair market,” if positions the game developer in note.
“[The measure presented] does not attack the root of the problem”, he concludes.