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Google says free justifies its fee.

“Could Google charge developers an upfront cost for each download of an app?” asks Google’s attorney.

“We could; it’d be a very bad thing,” replies Kochikar. “Because most users across most apps use it for free — if the developer had to pay for it, it would be expensive and stop innovation from happening from small developers.”

Earlier, she said that Google developed its business model having seen how free-to-play mobile gaming took off: “A very small number of people pay, and yet everyone else gets it for free.”