Dec 19, 2023 - Technology

Google expands billing options in $700M antitrust settlement with states

In this photo illustration a Google Play Store logo is seen on a smartphone.

The lawsuit accused Google of anticompetitive conduct in its Play Store operations. Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Google said Monday it's expanding billing options in its app store as part of a $700 million settlement in an antitrust lawsuit brought by attorneys general from 36 states and Washington, D.C.

Why it matters: The lawsuit that accused the company of anticompetitive conduct in its Play Store operations was one of several antitrust civil cases the tech giant was facing.

  • Google last week lost a lawsuit brought by Epic Games, which alleged its Play Store violates antitrust laws — though Wilson White, Google vice president of government affairs, wrote in a blog post Monday that the case was "far from over."

By the numbers: Google will pay $630 million into a settlement fund for customers and $70 million into a fund that will be used by the states, White said.

Details: Google announced new details of the agreement that was reached in September on Monday — including that developers will be able to show different pricing options within the app when a user makes a digital purchase.

  • App and game developers will also now be able to implement an alternative billing option alongside Google Play's billing system for their U.S. users, "who can then choose which option to use when making in-app purchases."
  • Google said it's been piloting the program in the U.S. for over a year "and will now expand this option further."

What's next: A judge must give final approval of the settlement.

Go deeper: What's at stake in Google's antitrust trial brought by the federal government

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