Following its earlier move to pull Audible audiobook purchases from its Play Store app, Amazon is also shutting down Kindle digital book purchases on Android. This is of course due to the raid on the Google Play purchase. Starting June 1st, Google will require all Play Store apps to use Google Play billing for digital purchases or removing faces from Marketplace. Google Play billing has technically been in the rules for a while, but Google is ending a hands-off enforcement policy that effectively allows companies to run their own billing systems.
When you visit the Amazon app, you can still buy physical books, but digital purchases will now show a “Why can’t I buy in the app?” Link instead of buy button. Amazon’s link shows a popup that reads: “To comply with Google Play Store policies, you can no longer purchase new content through the app. You can create a reading list in the app and continue shopping [the] Amazon website from your browser.”
Amazon Music purchases have also been discontinued in the Google Play app. The move brings Amazon’s Google Play app in line with the iOS app, which also doesn’t allow for digital purchases. On Android, Amazon is pushing users to the site where they can continue to buy digital content or sign up for an unlimited subscription, bypassing the Play Store purchase block.
Google Play billing takes a percentage of in-app purchases (typically 30 percent, although media can be as little as 10 percent), and several large companies have responded to the rule change by removing purchases from their Android apps. Epic Games is withdrawing Google from court over the issue, while Barnes & Noble eventually disabled digital purchases on its own Android hardware. Businesses that don’t use Google Play for in-app purchases have been technically blocked from issuing app updates since March 31, and apps with unauthorized billing will be removed from the Play Store on June 1.
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