News Report Technology
December 19, 2023

Google will Pay $700 Million to US Consumers for ‘Play Store’ Dispute Settlement

In Brief

Google settled an antitrust case with U.S. states and consumers, agreeing to pay $700 million and enhance competition in its Play app store.

Google will Pay $700 Million to US Consumers for 'Play Store' Dispute Settlement

Alphabet’s Google settled an antitrust case with U.S. states and consumers, agreeing to pay $700 million and implement measures to enhance competition in its Play app store. The terms were disclosed on Monday in a San Francisco federal court, pending final approval from a judge.

Under the agreement, Google will allocate $630 million to a settlement fund for consumers and $70 million for states. Eligible consumers, who made purchases on Google Play between August 16, 2016, and September 30, 2023, will receive a minimum of $2, with potential additional payments based on their spending during the specified period.

As per media reports, all 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, have joined the settlement.

The announcement is the second major setback for the tech giant. Last week, in a decision, Epic Games secured a win in its antitrust legal battle against Google, as a jury in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California declared Google’s Play Store to be an “unlawful monopoly”.

The court proceedings centered on Epic Games’ accusations that Google engaged in anti-competitive practices, specifically by imposing commission payments on developers utilizing third-party payment services and by establishing exclusive app distribution agreements on the Play Store.

Current ruling marks a significant development in the ongoing debate over monopolistic behavior within the digital marketplace.

Google to Address Anticompetitive Practices

Accusations against Google in the San Francisco federal court include overcharging consumers through unlawful restrictions on app distribution on Android devices and imposing unnecessary fees for in-app transactions.

While Google did not admit wrongdoing, however, the Epic case mentioned above affirms such accusations.

“The settlement builds on Android’s choice and flexibility, maintains strong security protections and retains Google’s ability to compete with other (operating system) makers, and invest in the Android ecosystem for users and developers,” said Wilson White, vice president for government affairs and public policy at Google, as reported by Reuters.

Google intends to allow app and game developers to offer consumers an alternative billing option for in-app purchases alongside Play’s billing system. As part of the settlement, Google will also simplify the process for users to download apps directly from developers.

According to court filings by the states’ attorneys, the settlement terms are expected to provide significant and lasting relief for consumers across the country. Despite the settlement, Google continues to face legal challenges related to its search and digital advertising practices. The company maintains its denial of any wrongdoing in these cases.

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About The Author

Kumar is an experienced Tech Journalist with a specialization in the dynamic intersections of AI/ML, marketing technology, and emerging fields such as crypto, blockchain, and NFTs. With over 3 years of experience in the industry, Kumar has established a proven track record in crafting compelling narratives, conducting insightful interviews, and delivering comprehensive insights. Kumar's expertise lies in producing high-impact content, including articles, reports, and research publications for prominent industry platforms. With a unique skill set that combines technical knowledge and storytelling, Kumar excels at communicating complex technological concepts to diverse audiences in a clear and engaging manner.

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Kumar Gandharv
Kumar Gandharv

Kumar is an experienced Tech Journalist with a specialization in the dynamic intersections of AI/ML, marketing technology, and emerging fields such as crypto, blockchain, and NFTs. With over 3 years of experience in the industry, Kumar has established a proven track record in crafting compelling narratives, conducting insightful interviews, and delivering comprehensive insights. Kumar's expertise lies in producing high-impact content, including articles, reports, and research publications for prominent industry platforms. With a unique skill set that combines technical knowledge and storytelling, Kumar excels at communicating complex technological concepts to diverse audiences in a clear and engaging manner.

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