Sponsored By

Following Epic's antitrust win, the Google Play Store is about to face an upheaval in how it handles payment options and third-party app stores.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

December 19, 2023

1 Min Read
Logo for the Google Play Store.
Image via Google.

At a Glance

  • Last week's antitrust suit saw the courts side with Epic, and now Google is feeling the sting of that loss in multiple ways.

A week after losing against Epic in an antitrust suit, Google has been ordered to allow for direct payment options on the Google Play Store.

Upon approval from the courts, Google will let developers make "alternative billing solutions" alongside the platform's standard billing for in-app purchases. This was already in effect for the EU as of 2022 and now includes the US.

Developers will also be allowed to show different pricing options (dubbed "user choice billing"), a feature that was previously relegated outside of apps.

Google and Apple came under fire in the past for their stores restrictions to third-party payment options. Forbes notes the new billing option reduces Google's 15-30 percent revenue cut to 11-26 percent.

Google has to do more than change its store

Separate from the changes to the Play Store, Google will pay $700 million to a settlement from this past September. Most of it will be distributed "for the benefit of consumers" in a court-approved plan.

That remaining $70 million, meanwhile, will go to 36 states and the District of Columbia, as previously agreed on.

In the blog post outlining these events, Google's government affairs VP Wilson White said the settlement "builds on Android's choice and flexibility."

Despite how much of the blog intends to frame things as a natural evolution for Google Play, the company also intends to fight the court siding with Epic. White confirms it'll challenge the verdict, saying its fight with the Fortnite developer is "far from over."

Update: This post has been changed to better reflect that the $700 million settlement is unrelated to Google's legal disputes with Epic.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like