The blockbuster legal clash between Apple and Fortnite developer Epic Games over App Store pie-slicing continues to wreak havoc on the world of tech, producing all sorts of ripple effects. As predicted by a new report from Bloomberg, Google has announced that it will force apps on its Play Store to use the company’s own billing system, which would take an Apple-esque 30% cut on in-app purchases.
The Play Store billing system has existed for years, but Google has historically been quite lenient about forcing apps to use it, allowing them to use their own billing services to avoid the levy. Unlike Apple, however, Google will likely be able to easily avoid charges of monopolistic practices, since the Android platform has more sources for apps than just the Play Store–even if the Play Store is the most well-known example. In the policy announcement, Google said that it will make it easier to install and use third-party app stores in next year’s Android 12.
The announcement also says that Google will give apps a year-long grace period to comply with the new policy or move out of the Google Play Store, with the deadline set as September 30, 2021. It’s unclear if the ultimate outcome of the Epic vs. Apple lawsuit–which may be months or years away–will have any effect on this policy or prompt further shifts.
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