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Google Faces Another Anti-Competitive Criticism About Play Store | Developers Have to Pay 30% Revenue
(Photo : Image from Google Faces Another Anti-Competitive Criticism About Play Store | Developers Have to Pay 30% Revenue

Google is now facing yet another anti-competitive criticism about, no surprise, Play Store. Developers are still stuck having to pay 30% of their revenue to the platform.

Google vs Epic Games

According to AndroidPolice, both Google and Epic Games have both been butting heads for over a year regarding how developers sell apps and take profit on Android. The court order now made public some of the freshly unredacted documents regarding the Epic v. Google lawsuit while revealing anti-competitive actions that Google was taking to limit the "contagion of competitors" and keep the popular Play Store thriving.

To hear the accusations, Google was prepared to go to great lengths in order to keep developers still using Play Store while the company takes a 30% revenue cut as well as phone makers still invested in the whole Google ecosystem. Here are a number of important takeaways from the complaints by Epic.

Google Premier Device Program

The Verge reported that one of them is the revelation of Google's Premier Device Program which the company launched back in 2019 and was also meant to be able to offer phone makers incentives for them to ship out their devices through the use of Google apps and services.

One of the Premier Devices requirements was that they won't be able to include apps with APK install rights aside from Google's. In short, this would discourage OEMs from selling phones that come with certain app stores which aren't Google Play Store. There were brief allegations regarding Google's potential acquisition of Epic Games.

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Google Offers Financial Incentives

The definition also includes things just like the popular Fortnite Launcher app which is needed to install the game outside the Google Play Store. In exchange for doing this, Google offered compliant OEMs a number of financial incentives just like an additional 4% of Search revenue that is earned on covered devices along with monthly bonuses and an actual Play spend bonus ranging from 3-6% depending on the OEMs.

The document shows that companies that are already fully on board with the Google Premier program include LG (RIP), HMD Global (Nokia), Xiaomi, Motorola, Sharp, Sony, and even some BBK properties just like Vivo, OPPO, Realme, and OnePlus to a lesser degree. The article by Android Police was also able to get confirmation that it was actually the Premier Device Program that caused OnePlus to stop pre-installing the Epic Games Store on its own phones. Epic Games is making efforts for self-publishers to publish their games on the Epic Game Store.

Another initiative was called the Google Project Hug or Games Velocity Program and this meant to throw "extra love/promotion" to the top developers as well as games. The document involves secret multi-million dollar deals that were done with over 20 top developers that were still at risk of "attrition from Play." Google basically did not want to take a page from Epic Games and other distributing apps and games to users that were outside the Play Store.

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Written by Urian B.

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