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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Google To Pay $700 Million To US States, Consumers In Play Store Settlement

Google has agreed to pay $700 million and to allow more competition in its Play app store, according to the terms of an antitrust settlement with US states and consumers filed in federal court on Monday.

In separate complaints, the Justice Department and dozens of states accused Google in 2020 of abusing its dominance in online search by allegedly harming competition through deals with wireless carriers and smartphone makers that made Google Search the default or exclusive option on products used by millions of consumers. The complaints eventually consolidated into a single case.

“Today, the details of a settlement reached in September with state attorneys general were filed publicly,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement Monday.

According to the settlement and company statement: “Google will pay $630 million into a settlement fund to be distributed for the benefit of consumers according to a Court-approved plan.”

Another $70 million will be paid into a fund to be used by the states, according to the settlement filed in a San Francisco federal court.

Some 102 million consumers stand to benefit from the fund, according to the settlement.

“Each eligible consumer will receive at least $2 and will receive additional payments in proportion to their Google Play spending during the period between August 16, 2016 and September 30, 2023,” it said.

“This settlement builds on Android’s choice and flexibility, maintains strong security protections, and retains Google’s ability to compete with other OS makers, and invest in the Android ecosystem for users and developers,” said the Google statement.

The company added: “Android and Google Play have continuously evolved to provide more flexibility and choice … as well as intense competition from Apple and app stores across the open Android ecosystem.”

“We demonstrated this in the recent trial and were disappointed that the verdict did not recognize the choice and competition that our platforms enable,” it said.

This case is one of several antitrust issues facing Google.

Last week, a federal jury decided Google’s app marketplace was an illegal monopoly. The verdict came after a years-long battle with Epic Games, maker of the hit video game “Fortnite.”

In another ongoing case, the Justice Department accused Google of intentionally stifling competition challenging its search engine. — CNN

Source: CNN/SG.

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