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An update on Google Play billing in the EEA

By Estelle Werth, Director, EU Government Affairs & Public Policy, Google

June 19, 2022

Google has been a leader in platform openness for more than a decade, allowing for multiple app stores and avenues of distribution on Android, and piloting user choice billing. We intend to continue these important efforts, while also recognizing that the recent passage of the Digital Markets Act will require Google Play and other industry players to adjust their current operating model for users in the European Economic Area (EEA). We are committed to meeting these new requirements while ensuring that we can continue to keep people safe on our platforms and invest in Android and Play for the benefit of the entire ecosystem.

As part of our efforts to comply with these new rules, we are announcing a new program to support billing alternatives for EEA users. This will mean developers of non-gaming apps can offer their users in the EEA an alternative to Google Play's billing system when they are paying for digital content and services.

Developers who choose to use an alternative billing system will need to meet appropriate user protection requirements, and service fees and conditions will continue to apply in order to support our investments in Android and Play. When a consumer uses an alternative billing system, the service fee the developer pays will be reduced by 3%. Since 99% of developers currently qualify for a service fee of 15% or less, those developers would pay a service fee of 12% or lower based on transactions through alternative billing for EEA users acquired through the Play platform.

As of today, Google will not remove, or reject updates of, non-gaming apps from participating developers for offering alternative billing systems for EEA users. Google Play’s billing system will continue to be required for apps and games distributed via Play to users outside the EEA, and for games distributed to users within the EEA. We expect to expand billing alternatives to developers of gaming apps for their users in the EEA, in advance of the DMA's effective date.

Although the DMA does not take effect for some time, w
e are launching this program now to allow us to work closely with our developer partners and ensure our compliance plans serve the needs of our shared users and the broader ecosystem. Developers interested in learning more about the program and signing up can visit our Help Center, which we will continue to update with more details in the coming weeks.

Google Play has enabled millions of developer businesses to connect with consumers around the world. In the EU alone, the Android ecosystem supported more than 1.1 million jobs, and Android developers generated €7.9 billion in annual revenue in 2021.
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We believe that users and developers are best served by a safe and secure environment for in-app purchases, and by our investments in the Android and Play ecosystem. As always, we’ll continue to listen to feedback and continue to invest to help developers thrive on Google Play

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