Google announced Wednesday that it will test the ability for Android developers to use their own billing systems in their apps, the first step in what could lead to a dramatic overhaul of the app economy. However, Epic Games, which has been a strong supporter of opening up app markets and sued Google after the search giant was taken down. fortnite of Google Play to include direct payments, is still not satisfied. It plans to continue advocating for an app ecosystem that provides more choice, according to a statement the company shared with The edge.
“Apple and Google continue to abuse their market power with policies that stifle innovation, inflate prices, and reduce consumer choice,” Corie Wright, Epic’s vice president of public policy, said in the communicated. “An agreement does not change the anti-competitive status quo. We will continue to fight for fair and open platforms for all developers and consumers and work with policymakers and regulators to hold these gatekeepers accountable for their anti-competitive behavior.
As part of Google’s new pilot, developers will be able to offer a billing option on top of the standard Google Play system. However, Spotify is currently the only known developer of the program, and it’s unclear who else may participate or when it will be available more widely.
Epic is not part of the pilot, Epic spokeswoman Elka Looks says The edge. She didn’t say whether Epic rejected an offer or simply wasn’t invited to participate. Rick VanMeter, spokesperson for the Coalition for App Fairness, of which Epic and Spotify are members, did not confirm. The edge if its non-Spotify members were approached by Google.
Companies like Epic and Spotify have criticized Apple and Google’s app store policies, including what they claim are high fees, for years. However, even though Google is softening its stance on alternative billing systems, it still looks like Google will be getting some sort of commission from Spotify as part of the pilot.
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