Google to pay $90 million to settle legal battle with app developers

WASHINGTON, June 30 (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc Google has agreed to pay $90 million to settle a legal battle with app developers over the money they’ve earned building apps for Android smartphones and encouraging users to make in-app purchases. , according to a court filing.

The app’s developers, in a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco, had accused Google of using agreements with smartphone makers, technical barriers and revenue-sharing agreements to shut down effectively the app ecosystem and divert most payments through its Google Play billing system with a default 30% service fee.

As part of the proposed settlement, Google said in a blog post that it would put $90 million into a fund to support app developers who made $2 million or less in annual revenue from 2016 through 2021.

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“A large majority of US developers who have earned revenue through Google Play will be eligible to receive money from this fund, if they choose,” Google said in the blog post.

Google said it will also charge developers a 15% commission on their first million Google Play Store revenue each year. It started doing this in 2021.

The court must approve the proposed settlement.

There were likely 48,000 app developers eligible to apply for the $90 million fund, and the minimum payout is $250, according to Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, which represented the plaintiffs.

Apple Inc agreed last year to ease App Store restrictions on small developers, reaching a settlement in a class action lawsuit. He also agreed to pay $100 million. Read more

In Washington, Congress is considering legislation that would require Google and Apple to allow sideloading, or the practice of downloading apps without using an app store. Google says it already allows sideloading. It would also prevent them from requiring app providers to use Google and Apple’s payment systems. Read more

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Reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington Editing by Peter Henderson and Matthew Lewis

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