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Alphabet, the Parent Company of Google, Settles Antitrust Lawsuit with $700 Million Agreement in Google Play Case

Alphabet, the Parent Company of Google, Resolves Legal Dispute by providing Funds to US Consumers and States in Momentous Antitrust Agreement.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has settled a $700 million antitrust case concerning its Google Play app store. The settlement, revealed on Monday, designates funds for both US customers of the Android app store and state governments.

In response to the legal action initiated by 37 state attorneys general in July 2021, the settlement encompasses modifications to Google Play aimed at reducing barriers to competition for developers. Notable among the changes is the ability for apps to directly charge users, addressing the previously alleged anti-competitive practices.

As part of the agreement, Alphabet will allocate $630 million to a settlement fund intended for the benefit of consumers, with an additional $70 million allocated to state funds. The settlement fund seeks to distribute funds to eligible consumers who made purchases on the Play Store between August 16, 2016, and September 30, 2023. Eligible consumers are anticipated to receive a minimum of $2, as outlined in the court-approved plan.

Apps on Google Play will now have the capability to directly charge Android users for in-app purchases. Alphabet has emphasized that developers can integrate an alternate billing option alongside Google Play’s billing system, offering users a choice for in-app purchases.

The settlement involves the participation of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two territories. While the terms of the settlement were made public in September, the specifics were disclosed on Monday.

This event follows a recent win for Epic Games, the producer of Fortnite, against Google in a US court battle. The jury concluded that Google possesses an unlawful monopoly through its Android app store. Alphabet has indicated that they are contesting this decision, highlighting that their litigation with Epic is still ongoing.

Image Source: IgorGolovniov @ShutterStock

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