Delaware part of $700 million Google agreement

December 19, 2023

Delaware Attorney General Kathleen Jennings announced Dec. 19 that the state is part of a group that secured a $700 million agreement following a lawsuit against the Google Play Store.

“Today’s agreement is a victory not only for the consumers affected by Google’s illegal monopoly, but also for every consumer who benefits from a healthy market – including strong antitrust laws,” said Jennings in a press release. “Delaware fought hard to secure substantial monetary damages and real changes in Google’s business practices that will help restore a more open and competitive marketplace. I’m grateful to our team and to our sister states who made it happen.”

Google will pay $630 million in restitution, minus costs and fees, to consumers who made purchases on the Google Play Store between August 2016 and September 2023, and were harmed by Google’s anticompetitive practices, officials said. Google will pay the states an additional $70 million for their sovereign claims. People eligible for restitution do not have to submit a claim, as they will receive automatic payments through PayPal or Venmo, or they can elect to receive a check or ACH transfer. 

More details about that process will be forthcoming, Jennings said.

The agreement also requires Google to make its business practices more procompetitive in a number of important ways.

The attorneys general sued Google in 2021, alleging that the company unlawfully monopolized the market for Android app distribution and in-app payment processing. Specifically, states claimed Google signed anticompetitive contracts to prevent other app stores from being preloaded on Android devices, bought off key app developers who might have launched rival app stores, and created technological barriers to deter consumers from directly downloading apps to their devices. 

The settlement requires Google to make changes such as: 

  • Give all developers the ability to allow users to pay through in-app billing systems other than Google Play Billing for at least five years
  • Allow developers to offer cheaper prices for their apps and in-app products for consumers who use alternative, non-Google billing systems for at least five years
  • Permit developers to steer consumers toward alternative, non-Google billing systems by advertising cheaper prices within their apps themselves for at least five years.

For much of this case, the attorneys general litigated alongside Epic Games and Match, two major app developers. Match announced a separate settlement earlier this year, while Epic Games took its case to trial.  A jury unanimously found that Google’s anticompetitive conduct violated the federal antitrust laws early last week.


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