May 28, 2024


The logo for Google LLC is seen at the Google Store Chelsea in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 17, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

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BRUSSELS, Aug 4 (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators have asked app developers whether Google’s threat to remove apps from its Play Store if they use other payment options instead of its own billing system has hurt business their. people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Critics say the fees Google and Apple ( AAPL.O ) charge for their mobile app stores are exorbitant and cost developers billions of dollars a year, a sign of the two companies’ monopoly power.

Questionnaires were sent to developers last month, the people said.

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Of the 16 questions in the document, some covered the period 2017-2021 and others 2019-2021. The European Commission declined to comment. Google did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

The US tech giant said apps will be removed from its app store from June this year if developers don’t use the billing system.

Respondents were asked whether Google’s policy change this year affected the distribution of their products or services on the Google Play Store, which apps were affected and whether it affected their ability to acquire users on Android devices, the people said.

Regulators wanted to know if the change forced developers to abandon other payment options in favor of Google Billing, and if migrating users to another payment option affected the number of pre-existing users and developers’ access to data.

Developers were asked if they thought they could offer a better service or product if they had the option of another payment system.

The EU competition watchdog also wanted to know if Google allowed them to use an alternative payment system, charged a service fee for it or complained about the security of their payment method.

App developers were asked whether U.S. payments giant Stripes, Dutch payments system Adyen ( ADYEN.AS ) and PayPal ( PYPL.O ) unit Braintree were considered alternative payment systems.

Last month, Google said non-gaming app developers could switch to competing payment systems with a lower fee of 12% instead of 15%, with the move applicable to European users in order to comply with EU rules that will enter into force next year. read more

Politico first reported the Commission’s question.

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Reported by Foo Yun Chee? Edited by Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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