Spotify Allegedly Struck a No-Commission Deal With Google Play Store, New Testimony Reveals

The ongoing case between Epic Games and Google has brought numerous under the table deals to light. Perhaps the most startling revelation so far is that Spotify allegedly struck a deal with Google that allowed it to bypass commissions on the Google Play Store. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that Spotify was able to circumvent the 15% share of its subscription fees if they used the streaming platforms own payment system.

According to Don Harrison, head of global partnerships at Google, this deal came about due to Spotify’s enormous levels of popularity with all things having been considered and taken into account. In his statement, the Google exec confirmed the deal, saying that people might’ve stopped using Android phones if they experienced any disruptions in their Spotify usage. He also mentioned that both Google as well as Spotify contributed $50 million to a success fund, something that sweetened the deal on both sides.

It bears mentioning that developers that utilize their own payment systems do get the chance to pay a reduced 11% commission. In spite of the fact that this is the case, the way that Google seemed to disproportionately favor Spotify and allow it to avoid paying any commission whatsoever is concerned. Many are criticizing the deal because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up unfairly compensating larger platforms and putting smaller ones at a disadvantage.

The crux of the feud between Epic and Google is that the game developer claims that the tech juggernaut owns a monopoly. Interestingly enough, Spotify was initially in Epic’s corner, but as soon as their User Choice Billing Program rolled out, they switched sides. This seems to suggest that Spotify was enticed by the prospect of additional revenue, and that Google is using underhanded tactics to reduce support for Epic Games.

It remains to be seen whether any other apps or developers received the same level of favoritism that Spotify did. If it turns out that Google did indeed prioritize some apps over others, its value as an app ecosystem would become lower than might have been the case otherwise. The outcome of this trial could have massive implications on the future of the industry.

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