Google Will Pay Small App Developers $90 Million to Publish Antitrust Lawsuit
Google is offering $90 million to small app developers as it seeks to end a class-action lawsuit accusing it of violating federal antitrust laws through its Play Store policies.
The lawsuit accused Google of maintaining policies that force developers to use the Google Play billing system, which for some time charges a default fee of 30 percent on all transactions. In July 2021, the company lowered fees to 15 percent for the first $1 million earned through any app, in a cut it seeks to give to smaller developers, in direct response to demand.
About 48,000 small app developers in the United States will be able to claim payments out of the $90 million in funds, with some claimants receiving up to $200,000, with the minimum payment set at $250, according to Hagens Berman, the law firm representing the plaintiffs. In this class action.
Steve Barman, the Managing Partner of Hages Berman, said in a press release:
“Today, approximately 48,000 hard-working app developers are getting the fair pay they deserve for their work product, something that Google has been looking to make money from, and hand it over. With this deal, developers will have more room to grow and more money in their pockets to bolster their hard efforts.”
Aside from the $90 million in funding, Google will also offer a number of small grants to developers. Part of that is the creation of a new Standalone Apps Corner to “display small, independent developers who create unique, high-quality apps” on the Play Store app, with language in the Developer Distribution Agreement making it clear that developers may contact users about this – from in-app subscription offers and the like.
Google’s latest payment follows a similar $100 million fund Apple made to developers over parallel issues with its App Store, and the lawsuit includes a similar waiver that allows developers to contact users and notify them about Apple Pay. and options
While these two deals are a respite for small developers, they fail to alter the allegations of anti-competitive policies directed against Google and Apple, that through pending legislation, larger changes could soon be imposed on the two companies in the US and EU.
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