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Spotify not paying Google Play Store fees, and here is the reason for it

Google charges around a 15 per cent cut on most publishers for all app purchases and in-app purchases. But recently, the platform reportedly gained lower figures in South Korea, India, and 35 other countries.

Saumya Nigam Written By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Updated on: November 22, 2023 12:09 IST
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Image Source : PIXABAY Spotify not paying Google Play Store fees

Google is reportedly allowing Spotify to dodge the mandatory Google Play Store fees. The news was confirmed by the executive of the company, in a testimony during the Epic vs Google trial. The Verge reported that a confidential deal was made with the music streaming player, which revealed that Spotify would be able to process its own payments on the service without paying the commission to Google.

Earlier, the search giant searched to protect the details of its deal with Spotify during the ongoing case with Fortnite (the maker of the Epic Games). As per the report, Don Harrison, the head of partnership at Google testified during the ongoing Epic vs Google trial that the music streaming platform- Spotify did not pay any fees to the tech giant when it processed customer payments on its own.

If customers wish to pay for Spotify via the in-app billing service of Google, the platform will charge a 4 per cent commission paid to Google.

Google reportedly charge most publishers around a 15 per cent cut on its platform for all app purchases and in-app purchases. But recently, the platform reportedly gained lower figures in South Korea, India, and 35 other countries where the company offers developers an alternative where user choice billing reduces the commission by 4 per cent.

Furthermore, as per the report, the Google executive will also testify that the search giant and Spotify had come to an agreement for a "success fund" that would focus on each firm committing USD 50 million (which is around Rs. 410 crores).

Spotify to receive special treatment from Google?

It is stated in the report that Spotify may receive special treatment from the tech giant, but the users will still have to be liable for paying the in-app purchase commission which could go up to 30 per cent for every transaction while making purchases from Apple's App Store. 

Like Netflix and many other service-providing platforms, the streaming service does not allow users to purchase a subscription via the Spotify app which is available for iOS.

Will this divulgence have an impact on Epic Games' case against Google?

It is said to be way too early to answer the question if the disclosure will have an impact on Epic Games' case which was against the tech giant. 

It was reported that the game publisher had sued both Google and Apple over their alleged antitrust practices which prevented the use of alternate billing systems and alternative app stores on Android and iOS respectively. 

The trial has revealed a lot of interesting details about Google and other firms, including a multibillion-dollar deal with Samsung for having an Assistant, Play Store, and Search apps as defaults on Galaxy smartphones.

The Epic vs Apple trial 

The Epic vs Apple trial ended earlier this year (2023) when the Ninth Circuit Court affirmed a 2021 decision which will find the iPhone maker's ban on competing with app stores on iOS did not violate the US antitrust law. 

Apple has lost only one claim in the trial where the firm was to allow the developers to link external payment systems inside their applications. 

Epic has appealed the verdict at the US Supreme Court, while Apple asked it to strike down the Ninth Circuit Court's order blocking as part of anti-steering rules.

ALSO READ: Can Sam Altman return to OpenAI? Satya Nadella replies, a day after hiring him for Microsoft

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