Google has tentatively settled a contentious antitrust lawsuit concerning its Google Play Store, potentially resolving complaints from consumers and multiple state attorneys general that the internet giant used its massive power to dominate the market for Android apps.
Bloomberg reports that in a significant development that could reshape the landscape of mobile app marketplaces, Google has tentatively agreed to a settlement over allegations that its Google Play Store abused its market power. The settlement, disclosed in a recent court filing, could put an end to a lawsuit that had the potential to involve as many as 21 million users seeking damages for being overcharged on app purchases.
The court filing revealed that lawyers representing Utah’s attorney general, proposed class-action plaintiffs, and Google have requested the judge to cancel the upcoming trial initially scheduled for early November. The filing also stated that if the judge rejects the settlement for any reason, both parties would be “returned to their respective litigation positions.”
While the financial terms and other specifics of the settlement remain undisclosed, the agreement could have far-reaching implications for both consumers and developers. The lawsuit initially claimed that Google inflated the prices of Android apps by taking a 30 percent cut of sales on Google Play. This practice was alleged to be anticompetitive, as it effectively forced developers to go through Google Play to reach their audience.
State attorneys general filed a complaint alleging that Google used anticompetitive tactics to force developers to go through the Google Play store. Their stance echoed the sentiments of many who believe that Google and Apple have too much control over digital marketplaces.
As of now, neither the lawyers for the consumers nor a Google spokesperson have responded to requests for comment from Bloomberg.