Google might be willing to bend the Play Store rules for specific customers
In the last few years, there has been increased scrutiny into the Google Play Store and its power over Android developers. During the ongoing trial between Google and Epic, new facts have been released to the public. This includes the fact that Google is willing to bend the Play Store rules, but only if you are a big enough customer.
In March, Google followed Apple’s lead and lowered its fees from 30% to 15% for the first $1 million it receives in revenue. However, this is too little, too late as even more industry giants follow Epic by standing up against Google and the unfair hold it has on Android developers.
Netflix is another industry leader that publicly voiced its displeasure in the Play Store. Google was so frustrated by this move that it quickly set to satiate the streaming service. To do this, Google offered Netflix an exclusive deal wherein they would take a much-reduced revenue share. This information was only made public now, following the unsealed consumer lawsuit.
This was a play by Google to keep Netflix using the Play Store’s official billing system instead of switching to another service that would offer the same subscription sign-ups within the app. This, while other similarly sized companies like Spotify and Tinder, weren’t offered a ‘special’ deal despite also looking for other payment alternatives.
These are not the only new facts that were brought to light. From Google’s own internal calculations, it turns out that the company can break even on the Play Store with a 6% revenue cut. Begging the question, if they weren’t in it solely for the profits, why charge 30%, to begin with? Could the answer be that Google simply wanted to match Apple’s cut?
Google did make the change to a revenue cut to 15%, once again following Apple, in March. However, they are still battling multiple antitrust lawsuits throughout the United States. Not to mention the different bills popping up worldwide that also call for a more equal footing for competition amongst the app stores. More companies like Epic and Netflix are also joining together to fight for more third-party apps stores and payment services options on both Android and iOS.
This new information revealing that Google can, and will, change Play Store rules for specific customers does not reflect well. This is made even worse by realizing that the company only needs to charge 6%, which is far lower than the current 15%, to break even? I think it will be interesting to see how things continue to change on the Play Store.Advertisement