Google Drops Big Money in Antitrust Suit
December 21, 2023
1 min 37 sec read
We've already informed you about Google's legal battles with the Justice Department, which began in September. The claim was that Google runs a mafia, wait, a monopoly, and that the company illegally used its power to beef up the bottom line.
Now, Google is dishing out more than $700M
and revamping its policies to settle an antitrust lawsuit over its Play Store.
If you recall, the lawsuit claims that Google used anti-competitive deals to limit other Android app stores, forcing users to rely on the Play Store.
The settlement, engineered in September, was only made public this week. It includes $630M Google will pay into a fund to benefit consumers, while another $70M is going to a fund to be used by the states.
The lawsuit was lodged against Google in 39 jurisdictions before the District of Columbia, and two territories decided to join "because they believe it will enhance competition in the relevant market and properly redress consumers' injuries."
Money isn't the only boo-boo Google faces in the settlement. Google will have to play ball with an Independent Compliance Professional (ICP) who will monitor their activities for the next five years. They will also have to allow the sideloading of apps and third-party app stores for seven years and maintain Android OS support for third-party app stores.
Oh, and no exclusivity deals with OEMs will be allowed for at least five years.
We won't even get into the anti-steering clause, which forces Google to allow developers to pull consumers away from the Google Play Store and "toward alternative billing systems."
Google couldn't accept the settlement without claiming they've "always permitted third-party app stores." They also took a shot at Apple, stating, "Unlike on iOS, Android users have the option to sideload apps, meaning they can download directly from a developer's website without going through an app store like Google Play."
Google says it will make the sideloading process easier and will be "updating the language that informs users about these potential risks of downloading apps directly from the web."
Now, before you get excited and think this settlement will make you rich, think again. It looks like a lot of money, but 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."
Don't spend it all in one place.
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