Google, owned by Alphabet, has invited Android app developers to choose their own payment schemes in the UK, local competition watchdog CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) said.
On Wednesday, the agency said: “By breaking the connection between app developers’ access to Google Play and Google’s payments system, Google Play users may be able to access new special offers and in-app offers that are not allowed under current Google Play rulesAccording to the CMA, the Google Play Store accounts for over 90% of all app downloads on Android devices in the UK.
Despite the fact that Google by default links payments in applications from the Play Store to its own payment system, the company has recently started to allow some applications to use alternative payment systems. Therefore, the company is making concessions to the regulator amid growing concerns about its monopoly in the wireless market. The company also allows some developers to use alternative payment systems in Europe according to European Union rules.
The CMA opened an investigation in June into whether Google violated competition laws. For the time being, the regulatory authority will announce its decision on May 19. Ann Pope, senior director of antitrust law at the CMA, said: “While we’re pleased that our investigation has resulted in Google offering thousands of app developers some freedom in app payments, we need to make sure these commitments work in practice.“.
Google stated in its CMA announcement blog that it “will continue to listen to feedback and continue to invest to help developers thrive on Google Play“.
A similar incident happened at Apple last year when the South Korean government ordered the company to offer developers a choice of payment systems.