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Google follows Apple in cutting Play Store fees for developers

Developers will pay a reduced, 15% service fee on the digital goods and services they sell, until they reach $1 million in revenue for the year.

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Google headquarters in Mountain View, California
Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google is cutting the service fee it charges developers for selling digital goods and services via its Play app store platform, the company said Tuesday. The fee will drop to 15% until developers hit $1 million in revenue for the year from such sales on the platform. Google follows Apple, which last November made a similar move with its rival app store.

The change will kick in July 1, Google said, and it'll apply to every developer regardless of size. The fee will jump to the standard 30% once developers make more than $1 million in sales for a year.

"With this change, 99% of developers globally that sell digital goods and services with Play will see a 50% reduction in fees," Sameer Samat, Google's vice president of product management, said in a blog post.

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Last summer, Fortnite developer Epic sued Google and Apple for removing Fortnite from their app stores. Epic added a direct payment service to its Fortnite app, which circumvented the app store owners' payment systems and commissions.

In a statement emailed to CNET, Epic acknowledged that the reduced fee "may alleviate a small part of the financial burden" but said the change doesn't address the cause of the problem.

"Whether it's 15% or 30%, for apps obtained through the Google Play Store, developers are forced to use Google's in-app payment services," an Epic spokesperson wrote. "Android needs to be fully open to competition, with a genuinely level playing field among platform companies, app creators, and service providers. Competition in payment processing and app distribution is the only path to a fair app marketplace."