Google has agreed to pay a €90 million settlement following a legal dispute with a group of US app developers.
The San Francisco-based lawsuit, as originally reported by Reuters, concerns allegations that the tech giant used its deals with smartphone makers, as well as "technical hurdles and revenue-sharing agreements" to shut down its smartphone ecosystem. Google Play apps, forcing developers to pay a hefty 30% commission on transactions.
The amount Google committed is expected to go to a fund to support US developers who earned less than €2 million from Google Play each year from 2016 to 2021.
What happens now?
If the deal is approved, each of the qualified developers will receive a minimum payment of €250, but the figure could be much higher.
“Today, nearly 48,000 hard-working app developers are getting the fair pay they deserve for their work, something Google has tried to capitalize on, hand in hand,” said Steve Berman, co-founder of Hagens Berman, the law firm that represents Google. the plaintiffs. .
“Based on the settlement agreement we have drawn up, some class members are likely to see payments of hundreds of thousands of dollars, up to €200,000 or more,” he added.
Not only is Google paying the money, but it's also lowering its app commission rate from 30% to 15% for the first $XNUMX million in annual revenue generated through the Play Store.
In a blog post (opens in a new tab) on its website, Google also said it was revising its Developer Distribution Agreement to make it clear that developers can continue to use contact information obtained in the app to communicate with users outside the application. , including about subscription offers or lower-cost offers on a competitor's app store or on a developer's website.
Google isn't the only big tech company getting heavily fined for its control over the developer ecosystem, as mobile app development seems to be an area fraught with legal trouble.
An antitrust case brought by iOS developers forced Apple to pay more than $100 million, claiming that Apple had a monopoly on iOS apps and forcing developers to pay a 30% cut. This case was also handled by the same law firm.