BRUSSELS – Today’s announcement from Google regarding rule changes to its billing system for the Google Play app store in Europe misses the mark. It appears to be yet another instance of Big Tech cynically attempting to dodge legal obligations and requirements to maintain extraction of monopoly rents from developers. Far from reflecting a move towards compliance, it seems to indicate they have no intention of complying with the law.
“Google’s new program would make it even more expensive for developers to use alternative payment options because they would have to pay Google a completely arbitrary and unreasonable tax on top of normal reasonable payment processing fees. This would also unfairly only apply to some developers and not others,” said Coalition for App Fairness executive director Rick VanMeter. “The new scheme simply shifts their unfair app store tax and demonstrates that Google is continuing to abuse its market position to try and extract fees for services they do nothing to facilitate or provide.”
This behavior illustrates the European Commission will have enormous responsibility in ensuring that competition laws and the Digital Markets Act, once officially applicable, are properly and legally enforced and adhered to.
About the Coalition for App Fairness
The Coalition for App Fairness is an independent nonprofit organization formed to protect consumer choice, foster competition, and create a level playing field for all app and game developers globally. Originally formed by Basecamp, Blix, Blockchain.com, Deezer, Epic Games, the European Publishers Council, Match Group, News Media Europe, Prepear, Proton, Skydemon, Spotify, and Tile, CAF has rapidly grown from 13 to over 60 members since launching in September 2020. CAF offers membership to companies of any size — join today at appfairness.org.
July 19, 2022