Google announced on Monday that it would allow developers on its Play app store to offer direct payment options to users and would pay $700 million to settle an antitrust suit brought by state attorneys general. The suit, which was filed in July 2021, accused Google of abusing its market power and forcing aggressive terms on software developers. In its statement, Google said it would now allow apps to charge consumers directly, rather than having to charge through Google. The company will pay $630 million to create a settlement fund for consumers and $70 million into a fund to be used by the states. The settlement is Google’s latest concession regarding its app store, which has come under increased regulatory scrutiny in recent years. This settlement is Google’s latest concession regarding its app store, which has come under increased regulatory scrutiny in recent years. The settlement is expected to act as a template for resolutions with other critics of Google’s Play Store policies, including Epic Games, which last week won an antitrust lawsuit against Google. The settlement will reduce app makers’ fees by four percentage points when they handle their own transactions, although consumers may not necessarily see a reduction in fees. The states would have made their case in a joint trial that would have been heard alongside lawsuits filed by Epic and the dating-app company Match Group, which had sued Google for similar reasons. Google has said it will appeal the verdict in the Epic trial, and also settled with Match in October. The U.S. Supreme Court may decide to pick up the case next year.
Google Agrees to Increase App Payment Options in Antitrust Settlement with States
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