Upcoming changes Google Play to see following $700m settlement

After $700 million settlement Google Play will allow users to sideload apps on Android devices
An undated image of Google Play logo displayed at a mobile screen. — Pixabay
An undated image of Google Play logo displayed at a mobile screen. — Pixabay

Google has agreed to pay $700 million as part of a settlement over its Play Store practices, which were challenged by 36 US states and the District of Columbia in an antitrust lawsuit filed in July 2023. The settlement, which was announced a day earlier, will result in several changes to how Google operates its app store and allows users to sideload apps on Android devices.

Transparency after Google Play settlement

One of the main complaints from the states was that Google made it difficult for users to install apps from sources other than the Play Store, such as third-party app stores or direct downloads from developers. Google was accused of using “scare tactics” and “misleading security warnings” to discourage users from sideloading apps.

As part of the settlement, Google has agreed to make it easier for users to access and use alternative app stores and sources on Android devices, without compromising security or privacy.

Google will also provide more information to users about the benefits and risks of sideloading apps and allow them to change their default app store preferences at any time.

Fairer terms after Google Play settlement

Another issue raised by the states was that Google imposed unfair and anticompetitive terms and fees on developers who wanted to distribute their apps on the Play Store.

Google was accused of abusing its dominant position in the app market by requiring developers to use its payment system and charging a 30% commission on in-app purchases.

As part of the settlement, Google has agreed to reduce its commission to 15% for developers earning less than $1 million per year from the Play Store and 12% for developers participating in its enhanced program, which offers additional features and support.

Google will also allow developers to use alternative payment methods and communicate with their customers about other ways to pay for their apps or services.

A win for consumers

The settlement, subject to court approval, is expected to benefit millions of Android users and developers in the US, who will have more choice, transparency, and fairness in the app ecosystem.

The states that filed the lawsuit have praised the settlement as a win for consumers and competition, and a sign of their commitment to hold tech giants accountable for their practices.

Meanwhile, Google has welcomed the settlement to resolve the litigation and improve its app platform for everyone. Google has also said that it will continue to invest in the Play Store and Android, and work with developers and regulators to foster innovation and growth in the app industry.