On Thursday Google Play announced the launch of a pilot program that would allow some app developers to offer an additional billing system in addition to the league’s billing system. This announcement comes at a time when Google play is under scrutiny over the payment system for its app stores from The Competition commission of India (CCI).
Google play declared In a blog post that this was since it has allowed other billing options for South Korea and in line with its principles, “we are announcing that we are exploring billing for user choice in specific countries.”
“This pilot will allow only a few participating developers to provide an additional billing option in addition to Google Play’s billing platform. The pilot will help us discover ways to give the option to customers as well as ensuring that we have the ability to make investments in our ecosystem. This is a major achievement and is the first to be made available on any of the major app stores that is available on desktop, mobile or gaming consoles.” Sameer Samat, VP, product management at Google in his blog post said that.
To start with, Google Play has partnered with Spotify to introduce a newly introduced billing method. Sameer Samat also said “Spotify will soon be introducing Google Pay’s new billing method in conjunction with their current billing system and their experience being our primary partner prove valuable. This pilot will allow us gain a better understanding of the ways in which user choice billing functions for users from different countries as well as for developers with different sizes and genres,”
“We couldn’t have made it to this point without the close collaboration with our highly valued developers, and their feedback that allows us to continue to improve. For example, in response to feedback from our partners and in response to competition our pricing structure has changed to make sure that all developers using our platform achieve success. Today, the majority of developers are eligible for a fee of 15 percent or less” stated Samat on his blog.
In India it was the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) said that Google’s “user option billing’ decision to “select” developers an explicit admission of guilt as well as the appearance of choice.
In a statement Sijo Kuruvilla George who is the Executive Director of ADIF said, “This is essentially “Google” choice billing, and does not have anything to do with “user” preference. The reality is that this announcement does not address the root issues and concerns, including the anti-competitive nature of this policy or the imminent March 30th deadline to enforce the policy.”
The backlash of Indian developers, as well as intervention from The Competition Commission of India (CCI) caused Google to prolong their Play Billing deadline to October in India. For the other countries by March 30 developers will be required to pay large commissions and must utilize Google’s Google play Billing System. It’s time that Google’s shrewdness has to be put down according to the ADIF.
Sijo Kuruvilla George also added “With their announcements and measures, Google is trying to create the illusion of the possibility of. We at ADIF insist on an expansion of the choice for all apps, and the immediate extension of the March 30th for allusers,”.