Google Agrees to Increase App Payment Options in Antitrust Settlement with States

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.

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Moms Managing Girl Influencers: A Marketplace Stalked by Men

Elissa began receiving threatening messages early last year from a person calling themselves “Instamodelfan” targeting her daughter’s Instagram account. Despite having over 100,000 followers, the account has been under scrutiny for potentially exploiting children in exchange for money. However, the issue runs deeper than that. Research from The New York Times found that the platform […]

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Insights from The Times’s Investigation of Child Influencers

Instagram maintains the 13-year-old minimum age for accounts, but parents can take control, largely for their daughters’ ambitions to become influencers. Parents initiate their child’s modeling career or gain favor from clothing brands, but a dark subculture emerges, controlled by men attracted to minors, as per The New York Times. The emergence of mom-run profiles […]

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Rising Threat: China’s Growing Cyber Espionage and the New Vulnerability

Beijing’s Networks Expanding Hacking Efforts China has spread its hacking reach with new tools that exploit computer vulnerabilities and a network of contracted vendors. The large scale of China’s hacking operations poses a significant threat, with the FBI reporting China’s hacking program to be larger than all major nations combined. The U.S. has tracked consistent […]

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