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Google will pay $700 million to settle a Play Store antitrust lawsuit with all 50 US states

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In September, Google entered into a settlement with the attorney generals of all 50 US states, plus the District of Colombia and the territory of Puerto Rico, to deal with an antitrust lawsuit concerning its Play Store policies. This week, Google finally revealed the terms of that settlement, which includes a $700 million payment from the company.

In a blog post, Google stated that $630 million of that payment will be put "into a settlement fund to be distributed for the benefit of consumers according to a Court-approved plan". The other $70 million will be placed in another fund to be used by the states.

In addition to the money, Google also agreed to make some changes in its Play Store policies. One concerns the sideloading of apps on Android devices. Google stated it will make the process of sideloading apps simpler for consumers. It will also offer info to Android "users about these potential risks of downloading apps directly from the web for the first time."

Google also announced it will allow Android app developers and publishers to create an "alternative billing option alongside Google Play’s billing system for their U.S. users". In addition, Android developers will also be "able to show different pricing options within the app when a user makes a digital purchase."

Google added:

This settlement builds on Android's choice and flexibility, maintains strong security protections, and retains Google’s ability to compete with other OS makers, and invest in the Android ecosystem for users and developers. We're pleased to resolve our case with the states and move forward on a settlement.

These new changes, and the settlement money, still need to be approved by the Courts before they officially go into effect.

The public reveal of this settlement between Google and the US state attorney generals comes just a few days after a jury ruled against Google in a similar case with developer Epic Games. The jury agreed with Epic's view that Google was operating an illegal monopoly with its Play Store on Android devices. Google has stated it will appeal the jury's decision.

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