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Google to pay $700 million and make tiny app store changes to settle with 50 states
December 19, 2023
Contributed by: Reid Stephan
Google settled a monopoly lawsuit, agreeing to pay $700 million and make minor operational changes. Developers can guide consumers away from Google Play Store for several years if the settlement approved. Google will pay customers who overpaid for apps $629 million, states $70 million for distribution as they see fit, and $1 million for settlement administration. Google will allow third-party app installation for 7 years and give developers the choice of an alternative billing system for 5 years. While many stewardships expire, some argue not real concessions. Critics claim Google's "User Choice Billing" system is a fake choice with a discounted rate of 4% off Google's fee for alternative payment system use. Google reserves the right to prevent developers from linking to their websites for discounts. Overall, Google will not be required to allow links for payment systems. Epic Games CEO criticized the settlement, calling it an "injustice" to Android users and developers.