Google has tried to rebut criticism that it selectively enforces its 30 percent mobile app store tax, requiring that over 3 percent of apps that sell digital items without complying with them comply with the rules within a year .
The change follows lawsuits from “Fortnite” video game maker Epic Games last month, in which Google and Apple Inc were charged with anti-competitive behavior. Apps sold in the tech leaders̵
App stores are a rapidly growing business as sales from Google search ads and Apple’s iPhone flatten.
According to Google, less than 3 percent of developers have sold digital goods with apps on the Play Store in the past 12 months, and nearly 97 percent are following payment system guidelines.
Dating app maker Match Group Inc is among the companies that have publicly stated that they will not pay Google’s 30 percent fee, which drops to 15 percent in subsequent years if it is a subscription service .
Antitrust authorities in several countries are addressing the issue, including South Korea, where several media apps anticipating Google’s stricter enforcement recently preemptively complained to government officials.
Apps have stated that 30 percent is excessive compared to the 2 percent fees typical of credit card payers, while Apple and Google say the amount covers the security and marketing benefits their app stores offer.
New apps must use Google’s payment tool for sale by January 20th, while existing apps are valid until September 30th, 2021.
Apps that have switched to selling digital items of physical goods and services due to the coronavirus pandemic may be given additional time to meet requirements, according to Google. Apple said last week that a similar temporary redress would last until December 31st.
(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Aurora Ellis and Richard Chang)
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