In order to resolve a lawsuit alleging that it had suppressed competition against its Google Play app store, Google has agreed to pay $700 million to consumers and U.S. states.

On its Android operating system, the corporation will also make it simpler to obtain apps from other shops, which might be advantageous for cord cutters who are accustomed to sideloading programs.

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The settlement was announced in September, but the Associated Press claims that more information about the financial contribution and concessions wasn’t made public until late Monday. On Tuesday, a number of state attorneys general released statements regarding the deal.

The settlement ends the legal action that was filed on behalf of 21 million consumers by more than 30 U.S. states. Google will provide consumers $630 million as part of the settlement; each will receive at least $2 and maybe more based on what they bought between August 16, 2016, and September 30, 2023.

Attorney General William Tong of Connecticut said, “Today’s settlement is a loud and clear message to Big Tech—attorneys general across the country are unified, and we are prepared to use the full weight of our collective authority to ensure free and fair access to the digital marketplace.”

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Google was accused by the state AGs of abusing its authority to suppress any competing app shops, so enabling the business to continue charging app store commissions that varied from 15% to 30%. The AGs said that by artificially raising app fees, such commissions harmed users.

The terms of the settlement were announced at the same time as Fortnite creator Epic, accusing Google of engaging in similar anti-competitive activities, defeated Google in a different but related dispute. Google is awaiting word from the judge regarding the severity of the fine.

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Google has declared that it will challenge the Epic ruling. However, in a statement released on Monday, it reaffirmed its “commitment to app store choice” and said that, in accordance with the settlement’s concessions, customers will be able to obtain and install Android apps from other sources more readily for the next five years. Additionally, it will no longer issue security alerts, which the AGs claimed discouraged users from sideloading software.

The business stated, “This settlement preserves Google’s ability to compete with other OS makers, builds on Android’s choice and flexibility, and invests in the Android ecosystem for users and developers.” Regarding the $700 million amount, a spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.

Penalties and other expenses to the states will be paid for with the additional $70 million from the settlement.


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