Google to Pay $700 Million in Antitrust Settlement Play Store with US States and Consumers

In order to resolve state prosecutors’ antitrust complaint regarding Google’s app store and billing methods in the US, Google will pay $700 million. The settlement’s specifics, finalized in September, have finally been made public. They verify that Google will contribute $630 million to a fund intended for distribution among an approximated 102 million qualified customers, as well as an additional $70 million to a fund that the states may utilize to settle additional related actions.

Google stated as part of the agreement that it will now permit app developers to bill customers directly rather than through Google, which keeps up to a 30% cut of the revenue.

Out of the $700 million, $630 million will go into a settlement fund that will be used by the states and disbursed to consumers in accordance with a scheme agreed upon by the court. The remaining $70 million will go into another fund. The internet behemoth announced that it will also streamline the procedure for allowing users to download programs from sources other than its own app store, the Google Play Store. Given that legislators, app developers, and other interested parties have long urged Google to relax its control over the installation and payment processes for apps on Android devices, these modifications to Google’s app store are noteworthy. However, Google is only now making significant compromises as regulatory and legal pressure mounts surrounding the app store.

Without having to submit a claim, the states project that at least 71.4 million consumers will get automatic payments. The eligibility requirements outlined in the settlement terms apply to people who downloaded apps from Google Play, chose a subscription, or made an in-app purchase through Google Play Billing and whose legal address in Google Payments was in one of the US states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands between August 16, 2016, and September 30, 2023. From the outset, OEMs can still provide users with the option to use Play or another app store, as Google will make explicit. Other marketplaces may handle future application upgrades for Android 14. Installing updates automatically while an app is idle is one example of this.

Conversely, user choice The number of US games and Android applications that can provide a separate payment method is growing. In addition, when a customer makes a digital purchase through the app, developers can provide various pricing alternatives within it.