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Google Play Slashes Fees App Developers Pay

 |  March 16, 2021

Alphabet’s Google is halving the percentage it takes from app developers on sales through its Google Play store, following a similar move by rival Apple last year. 

The Mountain View, California-based internet giant announced that it’s reducing the fees to 15% from 30% for the first US$1 million in revenue on sales of apps and in-app-purchases each year, reported Bloomberg.

The program differs from Apple’s approach. The iPhone maker limits its fee reduction to smaller developers who made as much as US$1 million in the previous calendar year.

“Scaling an app doesn’t stop once a partner has reached $1M in revenue — we’ve heard from our partners making $2M, $5M and even $10M a year that their services are still on a path to self-sustaining orbit,” Google wrote in a blog post. “This is why we are making this reduced fee on the first $1M of total revenue earned each year available to every Play developer, regardless of size.”

Google and Apple are a duopoly dominating the app economy of the Western world. The companies have come under intense pressure from regulators and some developers who complain that high app store fees and complex rules are raising costs for consumers. A total of US$143 billion was spent on mobile app stores in 2020, a 20% jump from the previous year, according to analytics firm App Annie.

In December, Bloomberg News reported that at least three US states were investigating the fees Google charges developers and were preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit as early as this year. The European Union and UK authorities are investigating Apple’s App Store.

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