Google Offers One Time Payment - Devs Get Nothing
Wednesday, 20 December 2023

Google has agreed to pay $700 million in a settlement of the Epic Games win over the monopoly status of the Play Store. However, Epic points out that this is nowhere near enough and a one-time payment.

It also looks as if the money will all be going to customers and not to the devs. Each eligible consumer will recieve a minimum of $2 for the "unecessary" fees. This is good for the consumers, but not for the programmers who see the Play Store fees as something like a tax on their income. So which is it - the consumer pays more or the programmer gets less? It is arguable that the revenue that Google scoops up is due to the software developers not the end users. That much money going back to the devs would not only make them happier, but likely spur further activity and better code.

Google announced the deal in a blog post and, as you might expect, added a "we didn't do anything wrong" and a "we are going to be doing a lot better". It promises to:

  • make third party app stores work better
  • simplify the sideloading process
  • expand alternative billing options
  • allow developers to advertise alternative pricing options

but not to cut the Play Store percentage take. It is also clear that the rebates are one-off. So Google is saying "sorry for the past over charging, but we are carrying on anyway."


Of course, Epic isn't happy and points out that the orignal claim was for $10.5 billion in antitrust damages - an estimate of how much Google had unjustly collected.

"Consumers will continue to overpay for digital goods as a result of Google's imposition of supracompetitive 30% fees for Google Play Billing or 26% junk fees on top of payments Google isn't involved in processing. Developers will also continue to be restricted in how they distribute their apps, and developers who choose to use a third party payment option will be forced to use Google's deceptively-labeled "user choice billing" system rather than having creative freedom over the design of their payment systems."

Epic isn't resting its case:

"Epic will seek meaningful remedies to truly open up the Android ecosystem so consumers and developers will genuinely benefit from the competition that U.S. antitrust laws were designed to promote."

and on the other side Google is apealing and it too considers the case as far from over:

 "We demonstrated this in the recent trial and were disappointed that the verdict did not recognize the choice and competition that our platforms enable. While we are challenging that verdict and our case with Epic is far from over, we remain committed to continually improving Android and Google Play."

One telling comment from Google:

"Unlike on iOS, Android users have the option to sideload apps, meaning they can download directly from a developer’s website without going through an app store like Google Play."

Could that be a "if you think we are running a monopoly you should see the other guys" sort of comment? It is true that "Google guilty, Apple innocent" is about as amazing as it gets.


More Information

Reaffirming choice and openness on Android and Google Play

Statement on Google’s Settlement with State Attorneys General

Related Articles

Jury Decides Play Store Is A Monopoly

Apple Wins Appeal Against Epic

Epic v Apple - Both Sides Lose But It's A Win For Developers

Epic Games V Apple & Google - Smash The App Stores

Google To Pay $90 Million To Devs - But It's Not Enough

Google Matches Apple's App Store Cut

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 December 2023 )