Global tech behemoth Google has opted to pay $90 million to small app developers as a settlement to a class-action lawsuit in which it was sued for exploitation and unfair policies on its popular Play Store.
The case was filed in 2020 at a federal court in San Francisco, California, by a group of small app developers. The plaintiff says that Google maintained policies that forced them to use Play Store’s default billing system, which automatically deducted 30% on all transactions. When the case was filed, Google reduced this fee to 15% for the first $1 million earned through any app.
The suit had also accused Google of using agreements with smartphone makers, technical barriers and revenue-sharing agreements to keep developers far from gaining any benefits.
The multi-million dollar settlement announced by Google will offer a reprieve to developers working in the fast-growing industry.
“With this settlement, developers will have more room to grow and more money in their pockets to promote their hard efforts.” Said Steve Berman, a partner of the law firm representing the developers. “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.” He added.
Google further announced more goodies for developers, such as creating a new Indie Apps Corner, to “showcase independent and small startup developers building unique high-quality apps. “ The tech giant further said that it will clarify language on its Developer Distribution Agreement for mutual benefit.
The settlement, however, will have to be approved by the court. In a similar case, Apple offered developers a $100 million fund and agreed to loosen restrictions on the Apple App Store.