As a response to regulator concerns, Google is opening up UK in-app payments


April 19 (Reuters) – Britain’s competition regulator said Alphabet Inc’s ( GOOGL.O ) proposals from Google to give app developers the freedom to opt out of Google Play’s billing system appear sufficient to address concerns about in-app payments.

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said in June that Google’s complete control over in-app payments unfairly forced developers to use Google Play’s billing system, reducing competition and harming users.

According to the CMA, Google’s proposals would allow app developers to offer a different payment system to users or to offer the option of an alternative payment system.

Third-party payment providers may also market their services to app developers, according to the proposal.

“We need to make sure these commitments work in practice – so we welcome all feedback, which we will consider carefully before making a final decision,” said Anne Pope, senior director of antitrust at the CMA.

Google said it committed to constructive dialogue with the regulator.

It said the user billing rollout in Britain would build on the experience of offering similar systems in other parts of the world and create the European Economic Area.

“Under the agreement, developers will be able to add an alternative in-app billing system to Google Play’s billing system for their mobile and tablet users in the UK,” Google said in a blog post.

“During the checkout, users can choose which billing system to use.” The CMA has invited comments on Google’s proposals through May 19 before making a final ruling.

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