Alphabet Reaches $700 Million Settlement in Google Play Dispute to Change Policies

By Consultants Review Team Tuesday, 19 December 2023

Alphabet Inc. will pay $700 million and change its Google Play regulations to settle antitrust accusations that the app store unlawfully controls the Android mobile applications market, resolving antitrust complaints filed by attorneys general from more than a dozen states and consumers. 

The agreement, revealed in a court filing late Monday, calls for changes to Google Play policies aimed at lowering obstacles to competition in the app distribution and payment processing businesses. The complaints, which were filed in federal court in California, jeopardized billions of dollars in revenue produced by app sales and distribution on Google Play.

"This settlement builds on Android's choice and flexibility, maintains strong security protections, and retains Google's ability to compete" with makers of other operating systems, as well as invest in the Android ecosystem for users and developers, said Wilson White, Google's vice president for Government Affairs & Public Policy, in a statement. This month, a federal jury in San Francisco sided with Epic Games Inc. on its accusations that Google Play's software distribution, payment, and fee policies are illegal. 

In a case filed in 2021, state solicitors general claimed that Google used anti-competitive measures to stifle competition and force developers to use the Google Play store to reach users. In a separate class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of nearly 21 million people. Google has been accused of raising Android app costs by absorbing up to 30% of Google Play transaction fees.

Alphabet announced a tentative deal with the states and consumers in September without providing financial details. According to the submission on Monday, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two US territories have now joined the agreement. Separately, the technology company settled allegations by Match Group Inc. before the trial with Epic in San Francisco, which began in early November. The agreement establishes a $630 million common fund to benefit consumers, as well as a $70 million fund to address state claims for penalties, restitution, disgorgement, and fees.


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