Netflix allegedly received special discount on Google's Play Store commission
Google does not demand a share on the first $1 million developers earn via Google Play Billing used for in-app purchases on the company's app market. Despite this, a new complaint received Friday from lawyers representing the consumers joins the antitrust lawsuit filed by several US state attorneys general and Epic Games. The suit accuses Google of abusing monopolistic power and alleges anticompetitive behavior.
Complaint follows Epic to join state attorneys general's antitrust filing
The antitrust suit filed by the attorneys general of 36 states follows in the footsteps of the Epic vs Apple case. This suit reportedly has the potential for being granted class-action status to represent a broader range of consumers affected by the disputed policies. The newest complaint to join this suit was first discussed by MLex senior correspondent Michael Acton.
Acton's observations from the complaint filed by consumers
3 - #Google calculated could break even with a 6 percent commission fee on Play Store - compared to 30 percent— Michael Acton (@MActon93) August 27, 2021
Google cut Netflix some slack to reduce its 'displeasure'
The new complaint alleges Google offered to settle for a "significantly reduced" cut from Netflix's Play Store revenue to curtail the latter's "displeasure". Recently, Google mandated that all apps listed on the Play Store switch to the Play Billing system for in-app purchases, much to the annoyance of the non-compliant apps. In July, just 3% of app developers hadn't switched to Play Billing.
Google could live with 6% cut but takes 30%
According to The Verge, the new complaint claims that popular apps including Spotify, Netflix, and Tinder have tried to work around the Play Billing mandate and the associated 30% revenue cut that Google demands. According to the suit, Google could break even with a 6% cut but chose the 30% number arbitrarily for no reason "other than copying Apple."
Google maintains that all developers are subject to same policies
The complaint alleges that Google gave Netflix a deal that isn't available to other Play Store app developers. Meanwhile, in a statement to The Verge, Google maintained, "All developers are subject to the same policies as all other developers, including the payments policy." Google added that efforts to back developers with "enhanced resources and investments" were evidence of "healthy competition" among app stores.