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Google suggests it has to spend before it can accept your payments.

Loew says that physical gift cards, for instance, have to be printed, distributed to all 950,000 retail locations around the world, and Google has to pay the processing fees.

Google has to monitor payment laws around the world at federal, state, and local levels — some cities have specific taxes, and Vermont has “a very specific rule for subscriptions,” she says.

“Does Google bill users for these services it provides?” No, says Loew.

Then there’s fraud prevention, too.

Google isn’t yet showing how much it has to spend on these things, and... wouldn’t other giant payment processors that charge less have to do these things, too? But I get it — Play isn’t free to run.