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(Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/Getty Images

In the latest in a series of app store fee cuts, Google has a new program that will halve commissions for some large developers who agree to support Android on non-phone devices, such as cars, TVs and tablets.

Why it matters: Although a 30% cut to Apple or Google remains the baseline for both of their mobile app stores, there are a growing number of exceptions amid pressure from both competitors and regulators.

Driving the news: Google is expanding what it calls the Play Media Experience Program, which offers the lower 15% commission for certain popular media apps.

  • To qualify under the broadened guidelines, video apps will have to support Android TV, Google TV and Google Cast, while audio apps will have to integrate with Wear OS and Android Auto, as well as TV and Cast. Book apps will need to be optimized for large screens, including tablets, and to support foldable devices.

The big picture: The move, announced last week, comes as Microsoft is putting pressure on both Apple and Google. The company has already cut its PC game commission to 12 percent and will cut its commission to 15% for other apps starting with Windows 11.

  • Also starting with Windows 11, developers can list their apps in the Windows store, use their own payment mechanism and pay no fees to Microsoft.
  • "Fortnite" maker Epic is also suing Google and Apple seeking to force them to open up to additional app stores and payment mechanisms, while regulators around the globe are also examining whether Google's and Apple's app store practices violate antitrust law.

Between the lines: Google is getting something it wants, too — support for what it sees as growth areas for Android. The software is on billions of devices, overwhelmingly phones, but Google has struggled to get developer support for new types of devices, including tablets, TVs and foldables.

Go deeper

Screen Time with District Attorney John Creuzot

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo courtesy of John Creuzot

Before becoming Dallas County district attorney in 2019, John Creuzot spent more than 20 years as a felony judge. Since taking office, he has focused on relaxing marijuana prosecution and reducing mass incarceration.

As part of our regular Screen Time feature, we will examine how some of the most powerful people in North Texas interact with technology.

Here's how Creuzot clicks:

Device of choice: Android, despite my son's teasing.

First tap of the day: I check my texts and then check my news apps.

Go-to news sources: the New York Times, the Dallas Morning News and my Google News app.

On rotation: I listen to '60s and '70s soul and rock 'n' roll. I like the Classic Vinyl station on my satellite car radio.

Podcast of choice: I prefer watching old speeches on YouTube. I've nearly run out of JFK.

Most used app: Probably the New York Times.

Reading list: I enjoy existentialism in literature. I just finished reading "The Great Dissenter: The Story of John Marshall Harlan".

  • I read a lot of legal history, Supreme Court history and WWII history.
  • My favorite short book is "San Manuel Bueno, Mártir" by Miguel de Unamuno.
  • Kafka is also a favorite.

Know someone we should talk to for our next Screen Time? Reach out at dallas@axios.com and tell us who.

Editor's note: Before she started at Axios, Tasha worked as Creuzot's media relations manager.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Oct 5, 2021 - Economy & Business

Ozy Media investor sues the company for fraud

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Ozy Media is being sued by one of its investors for fraud after a whirlwind week in which the digital media company announced both that it was shutting down and then opening back up.

Driving the news: Lifeline Legacy Holdings, a Beverly Hills-based group, claims that Ozy misrepresented its business performance and interest from other investors, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday in California.

Momentum builds to ban lawmakers from trading stocks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some progressive Democrats and MAGA Republicans are uniting on a proposal to ban sitting lawmakers from trading individual stocks, although it's unlikely that leadership will bring the bill up for a vote.

Why it matters: Members of Congress have great power to move stock prices, and great financial incentives to do so.