Last week’s significant news included Epic Games’ triumph over Google in the District Court of Northern California. The lengthy legal conflict, spanning three years, concluded with a jury verdict recognizing Google’s monopoly in the realms of Android app distribution and in-app payment services.
This case was one of several legal challenges Google faced, including an antitrust lawsuit brought by attorney generals from all 50 US states.
In a notable development, Google has agreed to a $700 million settlement in the Play Store lawsuit in the United States. This agreement was initially reached with US legal authorities in September, and now the full details of the settlement are available, including a $700 million contribution to a settlement fund and several changes to the Play Store’s operations in the US.
Google is set to contribute $630 million to a settlement fund, which will be allocated “for the benefit of consumers according to a Court-approved plan”. An additional $70 million is earmarked for a fund to be utilized by all 50 states, coordinated by each state’s attorney general.
Google is set to permit manufacturers of Android smartphones to install third-party app stores on their devices. Additionally, developers will have the freedom to incorporate alternative billing systems for their apps. This new user choice billing framework will enable developers to present various pricing options within their apps or games, including those that circumvent the Play Store. Moreover, developers will have the opportunity to openly communicate app store fees on the Play Store.
Google has also committed to streamlining the sideloading of apps, offering the use of APIs and feature splits to facilitate app installation.