Google has agreed to pay $700 million and allow competition in its Play app virtual store.
The mentioned solutions are provided by the terms of the technology giant’s antitrust agreement with the US regions and consumers. In the United States, approximately 102 million people will be eligible for compensation. The total amount of funds that are supposed to be paid to consumers under this agreement is $630 million.
The tech giant has hurt competition with its terms and fees on the App Store.
Another $70 million will be paid to dozens of states that participated in the lawsuit.
Most of the affected consumers, totaling 71.4 million people, do not need to file separate lawsuits to take advantage of the agreement with the tech giant. The terms of the settlement reached provide for this possibility.
Each of the consumers who are eligible for payment will receive $2 or more. In this case, the amount will depend on the volume of expenses in the Google Play Store in the period from August 16, 2016 to September 30, 2023.
The deal will change the business of the Google App Store. In this case, the factors of influence will be close attention to the control over the distribution of Android apps and relationships with independent software developers.
Last week, a federal jury ruled that the Google app marketplace is an illegal monopoly. This verdict was made following a long-term struggle with Epic Games, which created the popular video game Fortnite.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, who participated in the court hearing, said that regardless of the size and scale of the company, it is not allowed to create a situation of monopoly dominance in the market and use this provision to inflate prices and suppress competition.
The agreement also stipulates that Google needs to change the practice of the App Store in several ways for a certain period. For example, the tech giant has decided to expand the pilot program for five years, which provides users with the opportunity to choose and pay for purchases in apps through its billing system or a third-party payment channel. This program has been tested all over the world for more than a year. Developers who accept payments through a third-party billing system receive a small discount on Google fees.
Apps creators are also entitled to a multi-year warranty as part of an agreement that they can inform users about promotions and alternative billing systems, fees, and ways to avoid company fees.
The tech giant should also simplify the process by which users are allowed to install digital products from unofficial virtual stores and third-party websites.
Google has announced support for third-party downloads to promote the open Android ecosystem. At the same time, the tech giant warned that there are likely security or privacy risks in this case since the company does not review software offered outside of its App Store.
In its settlement statement, Epic Games said the deal is weak and insufficient. The company intends to seek more significant penalties.
As we have reported earlier, Japan’s Antitrust Watchdog Investigates Google.