EU antitrust authorities questioned developers about payments in Google apps

EU antitrust law regulators have asked app developers if the Alphabet division is GoogleThe threat to remove apps from their Play Store if they use other payment methods instead of their own payment system has hurt their business, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Critics say fees charged by Google and Apple that their mobile app stores are overpriced and cost developers billions of dollars a year, a sign of the two companies’ monopoly power.

Questionnaires were sent out to developers last month, according to people.

Of the 16 questions in the paper, some were for the period 2017-2021 and others for 2019-2021. The European Commission declined to comment. Google did not respond to an email request for a comment.

The American tech giant has said that apps will be removed from its app store from June this year if developers don’t use its payment system.

Respondents were asked if this year’s Google policy change affected the distribution of their products or services. google play storewhich apps were affected and whether it impacted their ability to engage users on Android devices.

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Regulators wanted to know if this change caused developers to move away from other payment methods in favor of Google Billing, and if users switching to another payment method affected the number of pre-existing users and developers’ access to data.

Developers were asked if they thought they could offer a better service or product if they had the option to use a different payment system.

The EU Competition Commissioner also wanted to know if Google allowed an alternative payment system, charged a service fee for it, or complained about the security of their payment method.

App developers were asked if digital payments giant Stripe, Dutch payment processor Adyen and PayPal division Braintree are being considered as alternative payment processors.

Google said last month that non-gaming app developers could switch to competing payment processors with a lower fee of 12% instead of 15%, with the switch applied to European users to comply with EU rules that come into effect next year. .

Politico was the first to report the Commission’s request.

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