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App developers to get $90m settlement from Google

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American multinational technology company, Google, has agreed to fund a $90-million settlement to small app developers over claims that the tech giant abused its market position.

This is according to statements released by the tech giant on 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.

The case centred 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 per cent service fee on the first $1 million in annual revenues, down from the prior 30 per cent.

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.

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 hardworking 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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