Google has agreed to allow developers to offer alternative payment options in its app store after the CMA launched a probe into its control over Google Play in-app purchases.
The investigation was launched in June 2022 following the CMA’s market study into ‘mobile ecosystems’. In its report, the CMA raised concerns that Google’s control over payment processing in Google Play potentially leads to higher price and reduced choices for Android users.
The Report notes that Google Play accounts for over 90% of native app downloads on Android devices and restrictions placed on app developers currently require them to use Google Play’s own billing system for in-app transactions involving digital content.
Google has offered the CMA Commitments. Under these Commitments, if accepted by the CMA, app developers would be able offer a different payment system of their choosing and third party service providers would have the ability to market their services to app developers for processing transactions.
The CMA is considering these Commitments and invites views on the commitments offered by Google to address the CMA’s competition concerns in the context of an investigation under the Competition Act 1998. The deadline for submitting to the CMA on the Commitments is 19 May 2023. The Commitments offer can be viewed here.
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