According to the terms of an antitrust settlement with US states and consumers announced in federal court on Monday, Google has agreed to pay $700 million and allow more competition in its Play app store.
As part of the settlement, around 102 million US users will be entitled to a total of $630 million in compensation, which addresses long-running charges that Google damaged competition through its app store rules and fees. The remaining $70 million will be distributed to the dozens of states that joined the complaint.
According to the settlement conditions, the great majority of impacted consumers, about 71.4 million, will not need to register a claim to profit from the deal. Consumers who qualify will earn $2 or more based on how much they spend on the Google Play Store between August 16, 2016 and September 30, 2023.
The transaction has the potential to change Google's app store business, which is under increasing scrutiny due to its dominance over Android app distribution and its relationship with independent software developers. It comes after a federal jury last week ruled that Google's app store constituted an unlawful monopoly. That decision came after a years-long dispute with Epic Games, the creators of the popular computer game "Fortnite."
"No company, no matter how large or powerful, is allowed to corner a market and use its influence to overcharge consumers and smother competition," said one of the authorities participating in the complaint, New York Attorney General Letitia James. "For too long, Google abused its market share to unfairly raise prices and block developers from selling products in other app stores."
Aside from Google's payments to customers and governments, the settlement compels Google to adjust its app store procedures in a variety of ways for a specified amount of time.