A lawsuit over Google's Play Store will be settled for $90 million by the company

A lawsuit over Google's Play Store will be settled for $90 million by the company

Updated on July 04, 2022 17:10 PM by Ava Sara

A class-action lawsuit against Google's Play Store policies has been settled for $90 million. The lawsuit claimed that the company stifled competition by forcing Android developers to use its billing system. The company also charged "exorbitant fees" for transactions. As a result of these policies, Android gained a monopoly while developers' revenue was affected. Several Android developers in the US have challenged these Play Store policies under federal antitrust laws. Google has now agreed to compensate them. Up until July last year, Google took a 30 percent cut of every dollar Android developers earned from their apps distributed through the Play Store. Even worse, developers couldn't choose a third-party billing system. In order to use the Android maker's billing system, they have to pay a large percentage of their revenue. Especially for small developers, this money is crucial. Google last year changed its commission structure to halve the revenue cut to 15% for the first $1 million of revenue a developer generates in a year. Any developer can benefit from this regardless of their size or revenue from Android apps. Once they have crossed $1 million in revenue for the year, they will be subject to a 30 percent cut. The new policy will remain in place at least until May 25, 2025.

It was too late to make the change as there had already been a lawsuit filed against it. Google may have conceded that it made the change in response to the lawsuit. Nevertheless, the case was pending in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, but the company settled out of court. Developers will receive a total of $90 million in compensation. According to Google, the settlement will enable "both parties to move forward and avoid years of uncertain and distracting litigation." 48,000 US Android developers have filed a class-action lawsuit against Google through the law firm Hagens Berman. As per the firm's press release, almost all US-based Android developers who earned less than $2 million on Google Play between August 17, 2016, and December 31, 2021 qualify for the class action suit. Depending on multiple factors, each developer will receive a different amount of compensation. Developers who receive more than $200,000 might be able to settle for $250.In addition to this settlement, Google will also create a section on the US homepage of the Play Store to feature apps from independent and small startups.

We call it the Indie Apps Corner. Further, developers will be able to use contact information obtained from within the app to communicate with users outside the app. Furthermore, Google has committed to continuing to allow auto-updates from third-party Android app stores for at least three more years. Last year, the company rolled out this change to Android 12, possibly as a response to the lawsuit. Furthermore, Google will publish a report each year containing "meaningful data" about the Play Store. Developers can use the report to make strategic decisions about their products by analyzing app removals, account terminations, and user interactions. Steve W. Berman, the co-founder of Hagens Berman and attorney for Android developers, said, "We are eager to see the effects of this settlement.". "These settlements will provide developers with more room to grow, as well as more money to promote their hard work.".Hagens Berman had obtained a $100 million settlement from Apple for similar claims last year. Likewise, Apple is known for its monopolistic App Store policies.

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