Google reimburses $90 million to developers harmed by its monetization policy

Google agrees to pay 90 million dollars to the developers who accused it in a California court of abusing its position by imposing a 30% levy on the revenue from any purchase made from an application present on its store, even if it this is a recurring subscription. It is the company which itself announces the settlement of this dispute in a blog post published on June 30. For the settlement to become final, the California court will have to approve it.

48,000 developers involved

In detail, developers will be eligible for this compensation if they earned less than two billion dollars annually between 2016 and 2021.”A large majority of US developers who have earned revenue through Google Play will be eligible to receive money from this fund if they wish.“, promises Google. 48,000 developers would be affected.

According to Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, the law firm representing the plaintiffs, the developers will be entitled to a minimum compensation of $250. Some will be able to receive up to 20,000 dollars, note the lawyers. The amount of compensation depends on the income of the victims.

Change in Distribution Agreement

In parallel with the establishment of this compensation fund, Google undertakes to “maintain a number of existing practices“, such as reducing the levy to 15% for the first million dollars of annual revenue generated by the Google Play Store, and implementing “new benefits“. This is to indicate “clearly” in the distribution agreement signed with the developers that they can communicate outside the application with users about more interesting offers.

Google has been accused for several years by many developers of abusing its position in the application distribution market. Recently, Match Group, parent company of Meetic and Tinder, filed an appeal in May before a Californian court.

A few days later, they announced that they had reached a temporary agreement to use a third-party payment system. Match Group can now offer alternative payment systems to that of Google without being removed from the Play Store. The Mountain View firm, for its part, undertakes to approve updates to Match Group applications that include third-party payment systems.

Apple facing similar charges

Apple faces the same criticism, applying a similar levy system deemed unfair. After several months of proceedings and having been fined 50 million euros, he finally agreed to submit to the requirements of the Autoriteit Consument & Markt (CMA), the equivalent of the Competition Authority in the Netherlands. Down.

Now Dutch developers can offer an alternative payment method within their app without fear of being delisted. But Apple’s troubles don’t end there. The European Commission is investigating the App Store and Apple Pay wishing to verify that antitrust regulations are respected.

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