TechGoogle settles Play Store antitrust case. $700M payout agreed, $2 minimum for every US consumer

Google settles Play Store antitrust case. $700M payout agreed, $2 minimum for every US consumer

Google Play Store
Google Play Store
Images source: © Google

9:24 AM EST, December 20, 2023

In terms of this settlement, Google will pay 630 million dollars into a consumer settlement fund, and a further 70 million dollars into a fund accessible by state authorities. All US states, including dependent territories like Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, are part of this agreement. Though the settlement was agreed upon in September, the terms were only made public recently.

The Play Store's problem

Google's Play Store application, which allows users to download other apps on their Android phones, was accused of employing unlawful restrictions. The accusation also included unnecessary additional transaction fees in the app. The primary complaint was that such practices were anti-competitive and thus harmful to consumers.

Google hasn't accepted these allegations. Wilson White, Google's Vice President for Government Affairs and Public Policy, said that the agreed settlement "maintains the flexibility of Android, upholds strong safeguards, and allows Google to compete with other operating system creators." The settlement also includes provisions to allow consumers to download apps directly from the developers.

700 million dollars for US and its consumers

The terms of the settlement stipulate that each eligible consumer will receive at least 2 dollars. Additionally, they may receive more, depending on their Google Play store expenditures between August 16, 2016, and September 30, 2023. According to legal experts, this agreement will provide significant benefits to consumers across the country. They also claimed that "no other US antitrust agency has thus far secured remedial measures of this magnitude from Google," or any other major digital platform.

Alphabet has faced long-standing criticism for practices that allow it to control a large share of the internet search and digital advertising markets. The company continues to assert that it has not engaged in inappropriate conduct.

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