Google halves Play Store developer fees

The tech giant said the change will see service fees cut by 50% for 99% of developers on the Google Play Store.

Google is to halve the commission it takes from app developers for selling goods and services on its Google Play app store amid ongoing scrutiny of the fee.

High-profile developers, including Fortnite maker Epic Games, have criticised the existing 30% service fee placed on developers as unfair and anti-competitive.

But Google has now confirmed that from the beginning of July, it will reduce the fee to 15% for the first one million US dollars of revenue a developer earns each year, which the tech giant says will see charges halved for 99% of developers.

It comes amid an ongoing legal stand-off between Epic Games and Google and Apple, which introduced an identical fee cut in January, on the issue, with the gaming firm claiming the commission amount to the tech firms abusing their dominant position in the market.

Last year, Apple and Google removed Fortnite from their respective app stores after Epic introduced a new payment option to Fortnite which allowed players to buy in-game items directly from Epic rather than using Apple and Google’s own payment systems and incurring the fee for the developer.

Epic has since launched legal action against both companies over the issue, and has received support from other developers, including music streaming platform Spotify.

Google said its decision to reduce service fees was about helping developers.

The tech giant’s Sameer Samat said the fee cut could open up funds which may help developers “scale up at a critical phase of their growth by hiring more engineers, adding to their marketing staff, increasing server capacity, and more”.

“As a platform we do not succeed unless our partners succeed,” he said.

“Android and Google Play have always listened to our developer partners from around the world and we continue to take their input into account as we build and run the ecosystem.

“We look forward to seeing more businesses scale to new heights on Android, and to further discussions with our developer community to find new ways to support them technically and economically as they build their businesses.”

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