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Google to Pay US$700 Million to UK Consumers in Play Store Settlement

Updated: Jan 4

In a landmark antitrust settlement, Google has agreed to pay US$700 million to US consumers, according to court filings in San Francisco. The settlement also requires Google to revamp its Play app store to allow for greater competition.

Google
Credit: Unsplash

The company will pay US$630 million into a settlement fund for consumers and $70 million into a fund for states. The settlement is still pending final approval from a judge.


Under the terms of the settlement, eligible consumers will receive a minimum payment of US$2, with the possibility of additional payments based on their spending on Google Play between August 16, 2016 and September 30, 2023. All 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, have joined the settlement.


Google was accused of overcharging consumers through unlawful restrictions on app distribution and unnecessary fees for in-app transactions. However, the company did not admit any wrongdoing.


The settlement was announced by attorneys for the states and consumers in September, but the terms were kept confidential until now. The announcement came ahead of Google's trial with "Fortnite" maker Epic Games, where a California federal jury ruled that parts of Google's app business were anticompetitive.


In response to the settlement, Wilson White, Google's vice president for government affairs and public policy, stated that it "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."


As part of the settlement, Google has also committed to simplifying users' ability to download apps directly from developers. The states' attorneys hailed the settlement as a significant achievement, noting that no other US antitrust enforcer has secured remedies of this magnitude from Google or any other major digital platform.


While the settlement resolves the antitrust claims brought by the states and consumers, Epic Games, which sued Google for anticompetitive behavior, is expected to make its own proposal for changes to the Play store in the coming year.


Despite this settlement, Google still faces other lawsuits challenging its search and digital advertising practices. The company has maintained its denial of any wrongdoing in those cases.

 
  • Google has agreed to pay US$700 million to US consumers in an antitrust settlement.

  • The settlement requires Google to revamp its Play app store for greater competition.

  • Eligible consumers will receive a minimum payment of US$2, with the possibility of additional payments based on their spending on Google Play.


Source: REUTERS

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