EU Antitrust Authorities Investigate Google Play Store – POLITICO


European Commission antitrust authorities are investigating Google’s App Store rules, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Google’s rivals received confidential questionnaires from Brussels probing billing terms and developer fees for the US tech giant’s Play Store, the two people, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

A Dutch investigation into Google’s Play Store rules will likely be shut down to make way for EU review, the people added, as concerns of anti-competitive behavior will need to be looked at EU-wide. EU. The UK’s competition watchdog also has an open investigation into the Google Play Store.


Developer fees for accessing the Google Play Store can be as high as 30%, and developers were previously not allowed to use other billing systems to collect payments from users.

The European Commission declined to comment.

A Google spokesperson said the company had discussed a “number of things” with the Commission, including recent changes to make Play Store terms and conditions fairer and to assuage allegations of unfair conduct developers.

At the end of July, the company said it would allow certain app developers to use alternative billing systems in the Play Store when collecting payments from users in Europe, and that it would reduce development costs. The move was pointed out by Google as a first step in complying with the EU’s recently adopted landmark rules for the digital economy, the Digital Markets Act. The rules broadly spell out a series of prohibitions and obligations for some of the world’s biggest tech players, including Google, Meta, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft.

But some members of the European Commission have gotten to work enforcing the new regulations fear Google’s recent moves “may not be enough” to stay compliant with the rules, one person said.

DMA is set to be enshrined in EU regulation in October, and tech companies falling within its scope will be brought into compliance in early 2024.

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