Google will start enforcing its billing system on all apps downloaded from the Play Store, in a bid to collect a 30% cut from all in-app purchases made from Play store apps, it clarified in a blog post on Monday. This move makes the Play Store policies similar to Apple's policies for its own App Store, where all apps downloaded from the store are not allowed to circumvent Apple's own in-app purchase system. Google said it will enforce the policy starting from January 20, 2021, and all new apps submitted after this date can only use Google's billing system. Existing apps however, have until September 30, 2021 to comply with the changes. Google will also prohibit apps that support in-app purchases from leading users to external payment methods. Developers can no longer use in-app browsers or other such interfaces to lead customers to an external website, thereby bypassing Google's payment system. In-app promotions that point users to better deals outside the app will also not be allowed. This is the most Apple-like addition to its Play Store policies, since Apple doesn't allow developers to even let users know that they can purchase things from the app on an external platform. This development comes as Apple and Google — the two major players in the mobile OS market — recently kicked out the video-game Fortnite off their respective app stores for allowing players to purchase items directly, while circumventing the mandated in-app purchase system. Epic Games, developer of Fortnite, sued both companies. What does this…
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