Google officially closes its revenue-share loophole

The Google logo on the side of its headquarters
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Google has announced that all Android app developers must convert to a new payment system or risk getting dropped from the Play Store.

Recently, a report emerged that Google planned to clarify its billing terms to tighten the reins on developers bypassing its 30% revenue share. This was in response to developers directing users to separate webpages where they could enter their credit card for purchases, instead of going through Google Play’s billing system.

This week, Google made its billing policy “more clear” by explicitly stating all payments for digital goods sold within apps must run through the Google Play billing system and be subject to the 30% revenue share. Google is giving developers until September 30 to comply or risk removal from the Play Store.

This, of course, doesn’t cover the sale of physical goods, like clothing, groceries, housewares and electronics. It also doesn’t include physical services like transportation services, cleaning, airfare and others.

Google claims this policy will impact only 3% of developers publishing apps to Google Play, as nearly 97% of developers already use Google Play’s billing system.

Many developers have complained about these “app taxes” and have even created coalitions against them. Whether or not the courts step in to decide if these “app taxes” are appropriate remains to be seen.