Google is offering a has $90 million pay-out to small app developers as it seeks to die down a class-action lawsuit accusing it of violating federal antitrust laws with its Play store policies.
The suit had accused Google of maintaining polices that compel developers to use its Google Play billing system, which for a while charges a default 30 percent charge on all transactions. The company had In July 2021, reduced the fee to 15 percent for the first $1 million earned through any app, in a reduction that seek to concede to smaller developers, in what a direct response to the suit.
About 48,000 small app developers in the United States will be able to claim a payment from the $90 million fund, with some claimants receiving as much as $200,000, with the minimum payment pegged at $250, according to Hagens Berman, the law firm representing the plaintiffs in this class-action.
Steve Barman, the managing partner of Hages Berman, in a press statement said:
“Today, nearly 48,000 hardworking app developers are receiving the just payment they deserve for their work product — something Google sought to profit from, hand over fist. With this settlement, developers will have more room to grow and more money in their pockets to promote their hard efforts.”
Aside the $90 million fund, Google will also be offering a number of small concessions to developers. Part of them is the creation of a new Indie Apps Corner to “showcase independent and small startup developers building unique high-quality apps” in its Play store app, while it clarifies language in its Developer Distribution Agreement that makes it clearer that developers can contact users to tell them about out-of-app subscription offers and the like.
The recent pay-out from Google is coming on the heels of a similar $100 million fund offered by Apple to developers over parallel issues with its App Store, with the suit including similar concession that allows developers to contact users, notifying them about Apple’s payment options.
The two settlements, though a reprieve for small developers, fail to significantly alter the anti-competitive policies allegations levelled against Google and Apple, but through pending legislation, bigger changes could soon be forced on both companies in the US and EU.