Why is it important: Less than two months after acquiring the Bandcamp music service, Epic Games appears to have come to its defense. However, this case fits in perfectly with Epic’s battles with mobile platform holders. Are they just using Bandcamp in their crusade, or are their interests just aligned?
This week, Epic Games and its recent acquisition of Bandcamp spoke out against upcoming Google policy changes that would force the music app to process digital payments exclusively through Google’s payment system. Bandcamp co-founder and CEO Ethan Diamond stated that it was incompatible with the original. goal music service. Epic, which closed a deal to buy Bandcamp in early March, filed petition in a California court with the same opinion.
Bandcamp currently handles digital music purchases on its Android app through its existing payment system, allowing 82% of sales revenue to be passed on to artists. During some promotions, he gives all the proceeds from sales to artists, so the service is popular among indie musicians.
Apple users can only listen to music, buy physical media, or buy goods. The Bandcamp iOS app doesn’t handle digital purchases at all because Apple’s demanded revenue cuts prevent the company from being as generous. The Android app could end up like this if Epic or the judiciary can’t find a compromise.
Until now, the Google payment system has not been mandatory for the purchase of digital music in the Play Store apps, but this is an exception. ends June 1st. After that, Google will receive 10 percent of revenue from digital purchases of the Bandcamp app. Epic and Bandcamp have said that this will either force the latter to pass on additional costs to consumers (taking a share from artists is not a starting point for them), or remove the Bandcamp app from the list, or use it without digital purchases, such as the iOS app.
The Epic lawsuit describes Google’s policies as monopolistic and even illegal. This is echo the language that Epic used in their litigation against Apple for the right to use the mobile version of Fortnite without using the Apple payment system.
While Epic is largely losing this fight, governments around the world are starting to legislate against forcing apps to use platform owners’ payment systems. Late last month, Dutch regulators authorized that Apple allows local dating apps to use third-party payment processors. August last year, South Korea passed a law preventing Google and Apple from imposing their payment systems on apps. Such policies may conflict with a forthcoming Google policy change.
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