Google is reducing the commission it charges developers that sell digital goods and services through its Play store, a move that comes amid increased regulatory scrutiny of the power tech giants wield through their app marketplaces.
The company behind the world’s largest operating system, Android, said Tuesday that it would reduce service fee it collects from 30% to 15% on the first $1 million developers earn from its app store. The reduction is a slight departure from Apple Inc.’s
decision late last year to reduce its rate to 15% for software makers who generate less than $1 million in annual sales.
Google and Apple have built multibillion-dollar digital empires over the past decade by becoming the primary gatekeepers for apps that are downloaded to smartphones and other mobile devices world-wide. Their position of power has drawn criticism from developers large and small over the amount of money that tech companies are able to siphon from them. Those complaints have triggered lawsuits as well as regulatory probes in multiple countries.
By reducing its take of app sales, Google estimates that 99% of developers would see their fees cut in half. It said that every developer, regardless of size, is eligible to benefit, adding in a blog post that it considered the reduction to be “a fair approach that aligns our success with that of our developer ecosystem.”
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