Google has reportedly struck a special deal with Spotify that allows it to skip Play Store fees

Spotify has a special deal with Google that allows it to pay Google any commission when people sign up for subscriptions using the Android music streaming service’s payment system, according to new testimony in the Epic v. Google ongoing Reported for the first time by the edge. As part of the same deal, Spotify paid Google just a 4% commission if users signed up for the service through Google, which is much lower than most other apps that typically pay 15% for subscriptions through the Google Play Store.

“Listening to music is one of those things [the phone’s] Core purposes… If we didn’t have Spotify working properly across Play and core services, people wouldn’t buy Android phones, Google’s head of partnerships, Don Harrison, reportedly said in court. Google and Spotify also agreed to put $50 million each into a “success fund” as part of the deal.

These statements came as part of a lawsuit first filed against Google by Epic Games, the maker of the hugely popular game fortnite, in 2020. Epic claimed that the Google Play Store on Android was an illegal monopoly that forced app makers to give up huge sums in exchange for offering in-app purchases to users through the Play Store. Epic filed a similar lawsuit against Apple in 2021, but lost.

“A small number of developers who invest directly in Android and Play may have different service fees as part of a broader partnership that includes significant financial investments and product integrations across different form factors,” Dan Jackson, a Google spokesperson, wrote to Engadget in “These partnerships allow us “Our main investment is to bring more users to Android and Play by continually improving the experience for all users and creating new opportunities for all developers.”

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Spotify initially backed Epic in its fight against Google and Apple. But in 2022, the company began using a Google program called User Choice Billing that allows Android apps to use its payment systems in exchange for giving a reduced share to Google. The private deal revealed in court showed that Google was willing to grant more exceptions to popular apps like Spotify.

Some pretty big business secrets have leaked from Google in the past few days. Last week, an economics professor who testified on behalf of the company in a separate antitrust trial that has since concluded revealed that Google pays Apple 36% of the total ad revenue it generates through Apple’s Safari browser, a figure announced by the president. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. It was later confirmed While testifying in the Epic v. Google trial.

the edge It was also reported earlier this month that Google offered Netflix, another popular streaming service, Custom deal. It offered a reduced 10 percent commission, which Netflix declined — instead choosing not to offer a way for users to sign up for Netflix directly through its Android app.

Updated November 20, 2023 at 6:50 PM ET: This story has been updated with a statement from Google.

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