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Google to pay $90 million settlement over Play Store billing dispute

The tech giant ‌also announced changes‌ ‌to‌ ‌its‌ ‌Developer‌ ‌Distribution‌ ‌Agreement

Google has agreed to pay $90 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged the company's Play store policies violated antitrust laws.

App developers have accused the tech giant of forcing payments through its Google Play billing system, which came with a default 30% service fee, as part of prior contractual agreements with smartphone makers.

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Clearing the air, Google announced a $90 million fund to support US developers who earned $2 million or less annually through Google Play between 2016 and 2021.

However, the company highlighted that a 15% commission rate on the first $1 million in annual revenue earned through Play Store was into effect in 2021 for US developers.

“A vast majority of U.S. developers who earned revenue through Google Play will be eligible to receive money from this fund, if they choose. If the Court approves the settlement, developers that qualify will be notified and allowed to receive a distribution from the fund,” stated Google in a blog post.

The Google Developer Distribution Agreement has also been revised, which stipulates that developers may continue to use in-app contact information to communicate with users outside of apps, should they decide to provide an alternative, low-cost offering through rival app stores, or their own websites.

Additionally, the company has announced plans to create an “Indie Apps Corner”, which will feature unique, high-quality apps created by small and independent developers.

Lastly, Google will maintain, in newer versions of Android, certain changes implemented in Android 12 that enable easy access to rival app stores, without compromising Android’s safety features.

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