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Google to Pay $700M (KSh 107 Billion) to US Consumers, States in Antitrust Settlement


-Alphabet’s Google has agreed to pay $700 million (KSh 107 billion) and permit more competition in its Play app store

-The terms of the anti-trust settlement with US states and consumers were revealed on Monday in a federal court in San Francisco

The settlement, which still needs a judge’s final approval, specifies that Google would pay $70 million into a fund that will be utilised by the states and $630 million into a fund for customers.

According to the settlement, qualifying users will get at least $2. However they could receive more money depending on how much they spend on Google Play between August 16, 2016, and September 30, 2023.

The settlement included participation from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Google was accused of overcharging customers by imposing illegitimate restrictions on the distribution of Android devices and charging unnecessary fees for in-app purchases.

It made no admission of guilt.

Lead petitioner Utah and other states announced the settlement in September.

However, the terms were not disclosed ahead of Google’s related trial with “Fortnite” maker Epic Games.

Last week, a federal jury in California ruled in favour of Epic. The ruling found that certain aspects of Google’s app store were anticompetitive.

Reacting to the the settlement, Google Vice President for Government Affairs and Public Policy Wilson White said:

” it (settlement)builds on Android’s choice and flexibility, maintains strong security protections, and retains Google’s ability to compete with other (operating system) makers and invest in the Android ecosystem for users and developers.”

In addition to Play’s billing mechanism, the firm said it was extending the ability of app and game creators to provide customers with an additional option for in-app purchases.

READ ALSO: In 2021, Google Spent $26 billion (KSh 3.9 trillion) to be Default Search Engine 

Google claimed to have been testing “choice billing” for more than a year in the United States.

Google promised to make it easier for customers to download apps straight from developers as part of the settlement.

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