Android App Developers Score $90M Google Suit Settlement And Key Store Policy Changes

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Google has agreed to terms with Android developers to settle a lawsuit that accused the tech giant of using methods to divert most payments through its Google Play billing system with a default service fee of 30%. The company has agreed to pay $90 million in order to settle the legal battle.

In a blog post, Google announced it has come to terms with Android developers in order to end the legal issue. The post states, "Today, we're pleased to share a proposed agreement that will help ensure that both developers and consumers can continue to benefit from Google Play." The tech company says it chose to take this route in order to avoid "years of uncertain and distracting litigation".

As part of the settlement, Google has agreed to establish a $90 million fund to support U.S. developers who earned two million dollars or less in annual revenue via Google Play during the years from 2016-2021. Once the court approves the agreement, devlopers who qualify to receive funds will be notified and allowed to take part in the distribution of the established fund.

Another aspect of the agreement includes Google continuing to give a 15% commission rate for the first $1 million in annual revenue earned from the Play Store for U.S. developers. This was first implemented by the company in 2021.

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Image Credit: Google

The company also said it will be revising its Developer Distribution Agreement in order to make it clear that developers can continue to "use contact information obtained in-app to communicate with users out-of-app." This will include subscription offers or lower-cost offerings on another app store, such as on Apple, or the developer's website.

Google also stated it is looking to showcase smaller independent startups by creating an "Indie Apps Corner". This new feature will aim to highlight unique high-quality apps on the Play Store, and looks to shine a spotlight on these developers, according to blog posting.

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, who represented the plaintiffs, indicated there were likely 48,000 developers who will be eligible for the $90 million fund. The minimum payout is said to be $250. Last year, Apple agreed to loosen its App Store restrictions on small developers as it struck a deal in one of its own legal battles, while also agreeing to pay $100 million.

Top Image Credit: Google