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Google to pay more than 40,000 app developers $90 million in a lawsuit settlement


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.

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Simon W Nderitu

Simon is a tech enthusiast who keeps a close eye on emerging technologies, startups and the general business environment. You will often catch him totally immersed and drooling over Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, IoT and just about any other tech that promises to revolutionize the way we live. Send tips to snderitu@techtrendske.co.ke

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