The new owner of Bandcamp, Epic Games, is taking Google to court for introducing a new payment method to the Android Bandcamp app.
From June 1, Android users of the Bandcamp app will have to use Google Play Billing at the checkout even though since 2015 Bandcamp has been using PayPal integration on its Android app.
This change has caused Epic Games to file a preliminary injunction at a court in San Francisco on April 28th in an attempt to stop Google which claims that the new policy violates California’s Unfair Competition Law and that Epic Games “is likely to suffer irreparable harm” as a result.
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Bandcamp co-founder Ethan Diamond said via a blog post, that Bandcamp will either have to “pass Google’s fees on to consumers (making Android a less attractive platform for music fans), pass fees on to artists (which we would never do), permanently run our Android business at a loss, or turn off digital sales in the Android app.”
Google told Engadget: “This is yet another meritless claim by Epic, which is now using its newly acquired app Bandcamp to continue its effort to avoid paying for the value that Google Play provides. We’ve been transparent about Play’s Payment policy for more than 18 months and, as Epic knows, Bandcamp is eligible for a service fee of just 10% through Play’s Media Experience Program—far less than the fees they charge on their own platforms.
“Despite their claims, Android’s openness means that Bandcamp has multiple ways of distributing their app to Android users, including through other app stores, directly to users via their website or as a consumption-only app as they do on iOS.”
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Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter