It is no longer possible to purchase digital goods through Amazon’s Android app

Android smartphone owners can no longer purchase digital goods from the Amazon app. This decision by the e-commerce giant is in response to Google’s new policy regarding in-app purchases.

A radical decision on the part of Amazon

In fact, starting June 1, Google will require all Play Store apps to use Google Play invoices for digital purchases, allowing Mountain View to take a 30% commission on them. Apps that do not comply with this procedure will simply be removed from the Play Store. If this famous tax has been in place for several years, Google has decided to end the laissez-faire policy that effectively allowed businesses to manage their billing systems.

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However, some participants in Play’s Media Experience enjoy a 10% lower commission rate, and Google has announced a beta program so that some developers can use their billing systems. This includes Spotify in particular but obviously not Amazon. So the e-commerce giant made a drastic decision.

Now, people with an Android smartphone that go to the Amazon app can still buy physical books, but not digital ones. In this case, a link that points to ” Why can’t I buy from the app? Where to buy button. This link displays a popup that says: To stay compliant with Google Play Store policies, you will no longer be able to purchase new content within the app. You can create a playlist on the app and buy from the website [d’Amazon] from your browser This is also the case for Amazon Music content, as determined Ars Technica.

iPhone screen showing various apps.

Amazon has refused to sell digital goods on iOS since 2011. Photo: James Yarema/Unsplash

The tax imposed by Google and Apple is the subject of much criticism

iPhone owners can no longer purchase digital books on the Amazon app since 2011, and must make purchases on a Kindle or a web browser. Like Google, Apple takes a 30% commission on all in-app purchases, a policy highly criticized by many app developers. For their part, the two Silicon Valley giants justify this amount by assuring that they provide them with a safe market and access to a huge global market.

In April, Amazon announced that it was removing Audible audiobook purchases from its Play Store app. In addition, the Barnes & Noble bookstore has also removed the ability to purchase digital books from its Android app. Epic Games, which has started a standoff against Apple and Google over the 30% tax, also protested Mountain View’s new measure by filing an appeal to the court.

However, these protests are unlikely to change the minds of any of the tech giants, but the latter should be wary as their billing policies have come under scrutiny by some regulators, particularly as they may be seen as monopolistic behaviour.

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