Google has agreed to set up a $90 million fund to be given to small app developers to settle abuse of dominance lawsuits to impose its terms. The fund is intended for developers who earned less than two million dollars a year through the group’s application store, Google Play, between 2016 and 2021, the Alphabet subsidiary said on its website Thursday evening. For the law firm Hagens Berman, representing the plaintiffs, nearly 48,000 application publishers are concerned. Google has also agreed to continue to offer a commission on subscriptions made via Google Play of 15% for the first million in turnover generated each year, as it had proposed last year, instead of 30%. standard in the industry.
The group will also modify its standard contract to clarify the fact that developers can use user contacts retrieved via Google Play to communicate with them outside the application store in order to offer them their services, at a lower cost, on another app store or on their own site. The Californian company also plans to create a new category highlighting applications from independent publishers. This agreement “allows the parties to move forward and avoid years of uncertain and distracting legal proceedings”, underlines Google. It still needs to be approved by a judge.
Plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit in 2020, accusing Google of violating competition laws and penalizing developers by banning them from offering their apps on other online stores. Application publishers have in recent years engaged in a rebellion against the technology giants Google and Apple, which they accuse of taking advantage of their dominant position on mobiles with their Android and iOS operating systems to impose rules that they consider unfair. Apple had agreed last year to pay developers $100 million in a deal similar to that announced by Google.