The Digital Markets Act has not yet entered into force – it will only be in 2024 – but it appears that Google has already decided to adapt in a preventive manner to the legislationaccording to what was announced by the Mountain View company in a new post on its official blog.
Google has indeed presented a new program that will allow developers to propose alternative payment methods for their applications distributed through the Google Play Store in the European Economic Area. Therefore, part of what many – including the European Commission – have defined as Google’s monopoly on Android collapses, even if this novelty will not affect all categories of applications, at least not for the moment. The only exception is in fact represented by games, which will have to continue to offer purchases in the app and payments through the current system that passes through Google Play.
WHAT CHANGES FOR DEVELOPERS? ALMOST NOTHING
But what changes for developers in economic terms? Basically nothing, since Google’s guidelines immediately suggest that payments outside the Play Store ecosystem will still be subject to a tax of 12% or 27%, based on whether the developer in question currently pays 15 or 30% commissions. In addition to that, the chosen payment service will have to ensure adequate levels of protection for users, of which at this point it will be the developers (or payment service providers) who will have to take care of them.
Net of this it is even possible that the use of an alternative form of payment to that of Google will result even more expensive for developers, since it is legitimate to expect commissions also from the chosen financial partner, all for a cut of just three percentage points of those requested by Google. Is the first effect of DMA then weaker than expected? Probably yes and at this point it will be up to the European Commission to verify similar cases as well.