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Google agrees to pay $700 million in Play Store settlement

Google agrees to pay $700 million in Play Store settlement Photo: Google agrees to pay $700 million in Play Store settlement (GettyImages)

Google has agreed to a $700 million antitrust settlement, including changes to its Play app store, to resolve accusations of overcharging and anti-competitive practices, according to CNBC.

Under the terms filed in federal court, approximately 102 million U.S. consumers will receive a share of $630 million, with each eligible consumer getting at least $2, depending on their spending on the Google Play Store from August 16, 2016, to September 30, 2023. Additionally, Google will pay $70 million to states involved in the lawsuit.

The settlement mandates changes in Google's app store operations, including a five-year program extension allowing users to choose between Google's billing system and third-party payment channels and ensuring app developers can inform users about alternative billing systems and promotions. The agreement also requires Google to simplify the process of sideloading apps from third-party sources.

This agreement includes all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Legal scrutiny

This settlement is the culmination of legal challenges against Google, accusing it of monopolistic practices in its app marketplace. The case gained momentum following a federal jury's decision last week declaring Google's app marketplace an illegal monopoly, a verdict stemming from a prolonged dispute with Epic Games, creator of Fortnite.

The lawsuit is part of broader legal challenges Google faces, including a high-profile antitrust case against its search business and another legal battle over its dominance in online advertising. These lawsuits allege that Google has abused its market position, making its search engine the default on various devices and potentially monopolizing online advertising.

Google's agreement to the settlement terms reflects ongoing legal scrutiny over its business practices in various domains, including search and digital advertising.