Google strikes major settlement over Play stores

Android users could see some money come their way as part of the settlement.

Google has agreed to a $700 million settlement over anticompetitive practices in its Play Stores, the Android app store. 

State attorneys general alleged that Google was stifling competition via the Play Store, driving up prices for digital transactions within apps downloaded from it.


Driving the news: The settlement includes $630 million to compensate U.S. consumers who were funneled into a payment processing system and were allegedly charged higher prices due to Google’s in-app purchase commissions.

  • Eligible consumers will receive at least $2 and could receive additional payments based on their spending between August 16, 2016 and September 30, 2023.
  • Another $70 million of the settlement will cover penalties and other costs that Google is being forced to pay to states.
  • In addition to the monetary settlement, Google has agreed to make other changes, including making it easier for users to download and install Android apps from other outlets besides Play Store and giving makers of Android apps more flexibility to offer alternative payment choices to consumers.

What they’re saying: “For far too long, Google’s anticompetitive practices in the distribution of apps deprived Android users of choices and forced them to pay artificially elevated prices,” Washington D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb said. 

  • Google vice president for government affairs and public policy Wilson White wrote in a blog post that the settlement “builds on Android’s choice and flexibility, maintains strong security protections, and retains Google’s ability to compete with other (software) makers, and invest in the Android ecosystem for users and developers.” 
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