Google claims that Spotify is not getting paid on the Play Store because of a secret deal

A Google executive said during a testimony in the Epic vs Google trial that a deal with Spotify allowed the audio company to skip Play Store fees, as reported by The Verge.

Don Harrison, Google’s head of partnerships, said Spotify pays nothing when it processes its own payments and pays a small 4% fee when Google processes them, the publication said. He also said the two companies have committed to putting $50 million each into a “success fund.”

The details came out today after Google asked the court to keep the details of its deal private with Spotify being sealed earlier in the month.

Google typically takes a 15% cut of subscription applications. This fee can be reduced to 11% due to programs such as user-choice billing, which allows developers to use their own or third-party payment solutions.

“The small number of developers who invest more directly in Android and Play may have different service fees as part of a broader partnership that includes more financial investments and product integrations in various form factors. These key investment partnerships allow us to bring more users to Android and Play by continuously improving the experience for all users and creating new opportunities for everyone developers,” Google spokesman Dan Jackson said in a statement.

Google is trying to strike similar Play Store deals with big companies as well. Earlier this month, The Verge reports that the search giant is offering Netflix a deal in 2017 that will only pay a 10% fee to the Play Store for subscriptions. Netflix does not allow users to purchase subscriptions through the Android app at this time.

Last month, the Mountain View-based company reached a settlement with Match Group to allow the dating app giant to use third-party billing solutions in the Play Store. Match Group rival Bumble is part of a user-choice billing program pilot that began in November 2022.

Epic, however, rejected Google’s offers to adopt user-choice billing and tested earlier this month. The test uncovered many details about the content of the Google Play Store. For example, in 2021, the company offered $197 million to Epic to bring Fortnite to the Play Store, but the gaming company refused the deal. Separately, Google tried to strike a multimillion-dollar deal with other game makers such as Activision Blizzard and Tencent’s Riot Games.

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