@WinMore, they're gearing up to turn Google My Business into a subscription model. I didn't read into the details but they're either charging everyone or charging for certain features. I'd think it'd be "certain features" at this point.
@Ryuzaki It is suppose to be $50 / Month for a google guaranteed badge. Somewhat of a spinoff of the their google guaranteed program I guess. I am sure having this badge will be a ranking factor but paying for it might be a small price to pay to be a step over all the spam listings.