Google paying $700M to settle antitrust allegations with states

Google has agreed to pay $700 million to settle a complaint filed by state attorneys general alleging antitrust violations related to the company's Android app store.

The agreement was originally signed between the parties in September, but the agreement was filed late on a Monday night in 2019. san francisco federal court.

The settlement includes all 50 states and will cost US consumers 630 million in payments made using Google's Play Store payments system, which state attorneys general say inflated the prices of in-app purchases. million dollars will be allocated.

The states accused the company of raising prices for customers and restricting “transactions in the Android app distribution market.” According to the Associated Press, Google collects a 15% to 30% fee on in-app purchases, but states argued that the prices are higher than they would be if there was an open market for payment processing.

“The complaint also alleges state law antitrust and consumer protection claims. Specifically, the U.S. side alleges that Google unfairly restrained trade through anticompetitive conduct and prohibited the distribution and payment of Android apps. “It claims to have a monopoly on processing services,” the settlement agreement states.

Most of the mobile phones used around the world run on Android software and use the Google Play Store for purchases. Consumers who are eligible to receive a portion of the payment will be automatically paid.

Eligible people will receive at least $2, with additional payments possible based on spending on Google Play from August 16, 2016 to September 30, 2023.

Google must pay states $70 million in fines and other costs, according to court documents. The settlement still needs a judge's approval.

Wilson White, Google's vice president of government affairs and public policy, said in a blog post that the settlement “builds on the choice and flexibility of Android, maintains strong security protections, and allows Google to compete with other OS makers.” It maintains the ability of

White said that as a result of the settlement, Google will allow app and game developers to implement alternative billing systems alongside Google Play's existing billing system.

“From allowing multiple app stores and app distribution methods, to piloting new ways for users to pay for in-app purchases, Android and Google Play are completely different from other platforms we compete with. “It provides options and opportunities for innovation that are not available before,” he writes. In the post.

“We are pleased to reach an agreement that builds on that foundation and advances the evolution of Android and Google Play for the benefit of millions of developers and billions of people around the world. We look forward to making these improvements that will help,” White added.

This comes just a week after a federal jury in California sided with Fortnite maker Epic Games in an antitrust lawsuit against Google's app store. In a statement regarding the recent settlement with the state, Epic Games said the agreement: not deal with it The root of the problem.

“In Epic v. Google, the jury unanimously found that Google violated antitrust laws in its dealings with developers, potential competitors, and OEMs,” the company said, referring to OEMs. I wrote it. “The U.S. settlement does not address the core of Google's illegal and anticompetitive conduct,” the company wrote.

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