When you see your neighbor’s beard trimmed, put yours to soak, tells us the popular proverb, which always has a phrase that fits in a given situation. In any case, and in view of the headline of this news, surely you have already deduced that the bearded neighbor is Appleand that therefore Who should be doing their homework to avoid major problems in the future is Google. And indeed, that is just the case.
As you will surely remember, earlier this month the European Parliament adopted the Digital Services Law and the Digital Markets Law, two rules called to regulate digital platforms, putting an end to what, until now, the technology companies that operate in the common space of the old continent have been able to do. They still have to be formally adopted by the Council of the European Union, but this is already a minor procedure that, therefore, except for surprises, will be resolved in a few months.
This, however, does not mean that technology companies can continue to act as they please. We have had the most recent example with Apple in the Netherlands, in a confrontation between the regulator of said market and the technology company, which has resulted in the latter paying a fine of 50 million euros and the forced adaptation to the conditions set by the regulator. Some conditions that at the moment are limited only to that jurisdiction and to a specific type of apps, but that indicate the conditions that will soon govern the entire space of the European Union.
Until now, Google has been saved from facing processes similar to that of Apple in the Netherlands, but the future application of the Digital Services Law and the Digital Markets Law, added to the precedent of the Cupertino process, has had to ignite several alarms at the search engine’s company headquarters, which very cleverly has decided to act preventively, instead of waiting for the arrival of the new regulatory frameworkwith the problems that this could cause.
Thus, the company has published an entry on its blog in which informs about changes to the Google Play Store in Europeamong which it stands out that, from this very moment, lApp developers will be able to upload versions of them with third-party payment systemsone of the key points of the Digital Markets Law, and one of the Apple and Google policies that, for years, have generated more friction with developers and with many regulators.
There is an important nuance, yes, and that is that this rule update applies to apps, not games. In this regard, the following is stated:We hope to expand billing alternatives to game application developers for their users in the European Union before the effective date of the Digital Markets Law«. Although the trend has changed, games have always generated more revenue than apps, which would explain why Google is taking it more calmly in this regard.