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Google Allows More App Payment Options in Antitrust Deal With States

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Google's new headquarters in New York City.

Google hopes the settlement will act as a template for resolutions with other critics of its Play Store policies.

Credit: Lucía Vázquez/The New York Times

Google said on Monday that it would allow developers on its Play app store to offer direct payment options to users and would pay $700 million to settle an antitrust suit brought by state attorneys general, in the company's latest move to navigate increased regulatory scrutiny of its power.

The suit, brought in July 2021, accused Google's app store of abusing its market power and forcing aggressive terms on software developers. The tech giant is facing several antitrust challenges in the United States, including a trial in which the federal government claims Google has abused its dominance in online search.

In its announcement on Monday, Google said it would now allow apps to charge consumers directly rather than having to charge through Google. The company will pay $630 million to create a settlement fund for consumers, as well as pay $70 million into a fund to be used by the states. To highlight the choice that users have in how they download apps, Google reaffirmed that phone makers, like Samsung, that use the Android mobile operating system can continue installing multiple app stores on their devices in addition to Google's Play Store.

From The New York TImes
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