Google has settled a USD 90 million lawsuit with US app developers that accused the company of monopoly on the distribution of Android apps.
The developers reported that Google was charging them “exorbitant fees” thus having a lawsuit filed by the firm Hagens Berman which will then set up a fund to compensate these developers.
To compensate, all US app developers with an annual earning of less than USD 2 million between August 17, 2016, and December 31, 2021 (about 99% of US devs on the Play Store) will be eligible to receive a minimum amount of USD 250 up to USD 200,000 which will vary on a case to case basis.
The company, last year, lowered the cut they take from devs on the Play Store from 30% to 15% on the first USD 1 million earned by a developer via app sales each year. Google also reduced its fee regarding subscriptions down to 15% and sometimes 10% for select apps These reduced rates will last until May 25, 2025.
Furthermore, the company will provide an “Indie Apps Corner” on the Play Store’s homepage which will promote apps from small and/or independent developers and startups. The Developer Distribution Agreement will also be updated to allow devs to contact users directly without the need to go through the app.
Google agreed to publish a yearly transparency report detailing why apps were removed and why devs’ accounts were terminated.
Additionally, third-party app stores were also given some protection because of the lawsuit by allowing non-Google app stores to do automatic updates on Android 12 that will stay in effect for the next three years.