Google Agrees To Pay $700M In Major App Settlement

In a settlement agreement, Google admitted to limiting competition against its Android app store and agreed to pay $700 million, among other concessions.

U.S. customers will get $630 million as part of the settlement with the states. This money will go toward paying out the state attorneys general who claimed that the payment processing system was responsible for the inflated pricing of digital transactions inside applications purchased from the Play Store. Google will also have to pay the states extra fees and penalties totaling $70 million, which was part of the pre-trial settlement.

Over the next five years, Google will implement more improvements to facilitate the installation of Android applications from sources other than the Play Store. There will be fewer security alerts, or “scare screens,” when other options are selected. Instead of having payments handled automatically via the Play Store and its commission scheme, Android app developers will have greater leeway to provide users with other payment options. Additionally, apps may advertise discounted rates to users who opt out of the Play Store’s payment processing.

Google VP of Government Relations and Public Policy Wilson White portrayed the pact as a win-win for the tech giant despite the financial and concessional costs. White said the settlement expands on Android’s choice and flexibility to maintain robust security safeguards.

Epic Games rejected the September settlement of the developer of the hit video game Fortnite. Instead, the studio decided to go to trial despite having already failed on most of its central claims in a lawsuit involving Apple and the iPhone app store in 2021. Instead of the jury that found Google guilty of erecting anti-competitive obstacles around the Play Store—a federal judge made the decision in the Apple trial. Epic was vindicated in this case.

The decision will be appealed, according to Google.