Epic is asking a court to stop Google from yanking Bandcamp off the Play Store

From The Verge: Epic Games has filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop Google from removing independent music storefront Bandcamp from the Android app store — which Google has apparently threatened to do because Bandcamp is using its own billing system instead of paying Google an app store fee.

Bandcamp, which Epic acquired in March, has used its own billing system on Android since 2015, and was able to do so because of rules exempting digital music from having to use Google’s billing system, according to a blog post from Bandcamp co-founder and CEO Ethan Diamond. “However, Google is now modifying its rules to require Bandcamp (and other apps like it) to exclusively use Google Play Billing for payments for digital goods and services, and pay a revenue share to Google,” Diamond says.

Under Google’s new rules, Bandcamp would have to make changes beginning June 1st. Diamond says Bandcamp would be forced to choose between passing on fees to customers, passing on fees to artists, running its Android business at a loss, or turning off digital sales in the Android app.

Epic argues that the switch to Google’s billing system would affect its ability to continue giving artists 82 percent of their Bandcamp revenues, because it would have to pay Google 10 percent — yes, 10 percent, not 30 percent, since it seems Google offered Bandcamp some sort of sweetheart deal here. “Paying Google even a 10 percent revenue share would force Epic to change Bandcamp’s current business model or else operate the Bandcamp business at a long-term loss,” argues Epic.

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