Play Store Antitrust Lawsuit Resolved: Google’s $700 Million Payout

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has recently accomplished a major settlement of $700 million to resolve a 2021 U.S. antitrust lawsuit involving the Play Store.

This legal resolution refers to allegations made by the United States Department of Justice and all 50 states. These accusations claim that Google imposed unjust fees on in-app purchases and imposed restrictions on the distribution of apps for Android devices. These practices were said to result in increased costs for users.

Google Resolves Play Store Antitrust Lawsuit For $700 Million:

In line with the settlement agreement, Google is set to compensate customers with a restitution sum of $630 million. Furthermore, there is an additional $70 million assigned as a fund dedicated to states, subject to final approval from a judge.

Those who purchased applications on the Play Store from August 16, 2016, to September 30, 2023, will receive compensation. A compensation amount of at least $2 is assured for eligible customers who fall within the mentioned purchase period.

The announcement of the settlement was made in September, with the terms kept secret to avoid influencing the concurrent Google vs. Epic Games lawsuit. In that lawsuit, Google was recently defeated as the judge decided in favor of its misuse of power to keep its hold on the app store.

Responding to accusations of antitrust violations, Google has affirmed to implement various modifications within the Play Store. Developers will now have the flexibility to use in-app billing systems other than Google Play Billing for at least five years. Furthermore, developers can direct users to non-Google billing systems by promoting more economical prices within their apps.

Epic Games’ Standpoint

Epic Games’ CEO, Tim Sweeney, expressed dissatisfaction with the settlement terms, labeling them as an “injustice to all Android users and developers.” Sweeney criticized the decision, claiming it supports Google’s “misleading and anticompetitive scare screens.” 

In its constant legal battle with Google, Epic Games remains committed to advocating for enhancements to the Play Store, even following the resolution of the lawsuit.

Corie Wright, Head of Policy at Epic Games, emphasized that the settlement did not address the core issues of Google’s alleged unlawful and anticompetitive practices. In the next phase of the trial, Epic Games intends to push for a more open Android ecosystem, challenging the existing business model.

Future Implications

While Google plans to appeal the decision in the Epic Games case, the company remains committed to defending its Android business model. The settlement and Google’s loss in the Epic Games lawsuit may have broader implications, potentially influencing Apple’s future legal battles. 

Apple, successful in its suit against Epic Games, faces changes to its “anti-steering” rule, impacting the App Store’s 15 to 30 percent cut of in-app purchases. Appeals from both Apple and Epic Games are pending, awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court.

Read more: Epic Games vs Google: A Battle Over Fortnite Fees Goes to Court

FAQs

Q1: How much will customers receive in restitution under the settlement?

Those who bought apps on the Play Store from August 16, 2016, to Sept 30, 2023, will get compensation. The compensation amount is at least $2.

Q2: What modifications will the settlement bring about for developers in the Play Store?

App developers will now possess the flexibility to employ alternative in-app payment systems, distinct from Google Play Billing, for a minimum duration of five years. Moreover, they can direct consumers to non-Google billing systems by advertising cheaper prices in their apps.

Q3: How does Epic Games view the settlement, and what actions do they plan to take?

Epic Games’ CEO, Tim Sweeney, criticized the settlement, considering it an “injustice.” Despite this, Epic Games will play a role in suggesting further changes to the Play Store in its ongoing lawsuit against Google.

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Aliha Zulfiqar
Aliha Zulfiqarhttp://thetricenet.com
With a major in English Language and Literature, I'm a dedicated SEO Content Writer. Also, I love to write about technology. With over 2 years of experience, I've had the privilege of contributing to various renowned platforms. As I look forward to the future, I am committed to refining my work and delivering content that stands out.

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