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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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Google to pay $90 mn in settlement with app developers

FILE - Google will pay over R1.4 billion in a settlement to small app developers who had alleged the technology giant had a monopoly in the US market on its Android smartphone system. Photo: (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

FILE - Google will pay over R1.4 billion in a settlement to small app developers who had alleged the technology giant had a monopoly in the US market on its Android smartphone system. Photo: (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Published Jul 5, 2022

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New York - Google will fund a $90-million (over R1.4 billion) settlement to small app developers who alleged the technology giant abused its market position, according to statements seen by AFP Friday.

The funds are expected to result in payments of $200,000 or more to some developers among the 48,000 in a class action lawsuit, according to the plaintiffs' attorney, Hagens Berman.

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The case centered on charges that Google violated antitrust laws with its Google Play app store, alleging the technology giant maintained a monopoly in the US market on its Android smartphone system that penalized developers.

The settlement will cover developers with annual Google Play earnings of $2 million or less between 2016 and 2021.

In addition, Google agreed to allow developers to pay a 15 percent service fee on the first $1 million in annual revenues, down from the prior 30 percent.

Other measures will highlight apps from independent developers and make it easier to use these alternatives within the Android ecosystem.

Wilson White, a Google vice president for government affairs, said he was pleased with the agreement.

“As the agreement notes, we remain confident in our arguments and case, but this settlement will avoid protracted and unnecessary litigation with developers, whom we see as vital partners in the Android ecosystem,” White said.

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Hagens Berman, which had secured a $100-million settlement from Apple in 2020 in a similar case, hailed the agreement as an example of holding Big Tech to account.

"Today, nearly 48,000 hard working app developers are receiving the just payment they deserve for their work product -- something Google sought to profit from, hand over fist," said Steve Berman, co-founder of the firm.

AFP

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