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Epic Games not impressed by Google’s app store third party billing option

Epic Games seems to have inspired Google to allow Android developers to set up their own billing system, but the game maker is not satisfied that Google is doing all it could yet.

Google is now letting Android developers test using their own payment method in their apps. While this is a significant change in how apps are distributed, Epic is not happy yet. The company had sued Google on its app practices while advocating for opening up app stores. Epic says it will continue to advocate because this single move does not solve the problems it has been pointing out.

The company said in a statement, “Apple and Google continue to abuse their market power with policies that stifle innovation, inflate prices and reduce consumer choice. One deal does not change the anticompetitive 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 anticompetitive conduct.”

Meanwhile, Google’s new system, which already lets app makers use a different billing system, is only open to Spotify. There is no information about when or if other companies would join or the conditions that qualified Spotify.

Epic confirmed to The Verge that it was not involved in the pilot test, although the spokesperson did not say whether Epic turned down an invitation or was not invited at all.

In its own blog post announcing the pilot test, Google argued that users should be allowed to use the default payment system, its own. “When users choose Google Play, it’s because they count on us to deliver a safe experience, and that includes in-app payment systems that protect users’ data and financial information. That’s why we built Google Play’s billing system to the highest standards for privacy and safety so users can be confident their sensitive payment data won’t be at risk when they make in-app purchases.

“We think that users should continue to have the choice to use Play’s billing system when they install an app from Google Play. We also think it’s critical that alternative billing systems meet similarly high safety standards in protecting users’ personal data and sensitive financial information.”

However, Google admitted new laws from South Korea made it necessary to let developers use their payment methods. “Building on our recent launch allowing an additional billing system alongside Play’s billing for users in South Korea and in line with our principles, we are announcing we will be exploring user choice billing in other select countries.

“This pilot will allow a small number of participating developers to offer an additional billing option next to Google Play’s billing system and is designed to help us explore ways to offer this choice to users, while maintaining our ability to invest in the ecosystem. This is a significant milestone and the first on any major app store — whether on mobile, desktop, or game consoles.”

Google also said it would use Spotify’s perspective to shape the feature. “Spotify is on a years-long journey to ensure app developers have the freedom to innovate and compete on a level playing field. We’re excited to be partnering with Google to explore this approach to payment choice and opportunities for developers, users, and the entire internet ecosystem. We hope the work we’ll do together blazes a path that will benefit the rest of the industry,” commented Alex Norström, Chief Freemium Business Officer.

Written by HackerVibes

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