Arizona AG announces $700M settlement with Google over Play Store misconduct

Dec 19, 2023, 3:00 PM

Attorney General Kris Mayes joined fight against Idaho's abortion travel ban Google Play Store misc...

Kris Mayes is holding Google accountable for alleged anticompetitive behavior on the Google Play Store. (Getty Images File Photo)

(Getty Images File Photo)

PHOENIX — When it comes to anticompetitive conduct, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office doesn’t play around.

AG Kris Mayes joined a coalition of attorneys suing Google in April. Her office announced Tuesday the coalition of 52 other attorneys won a $700 million settlement in the lawsuit.

The coalition claims Google was guilty of “anticompetitive conduct” within its Google Play Store.

“Google used its monopoly power over the app market to drive up prices,” Mayes said in a statement released Tuesday.

“With this lawsuit against Google, we’re saying loud and clear that anticompetitive conduct like this will not be tolerated. A competitive, fair marketplace promotes lower prices, higher quality goods and services and more options for consumers,” Mayes added.

Google agreed to pay states $70 million for their claims, the announcement said, but that’s not all.

Alleged Google Play Store misconduct leads to big payout

Consumers who made purchases on the Google Play Store between Aug. 2016 and Sept. 2023 may be able to win a piece of a much bigger pie.

Paying customers who were harmed by Google’s anticompetitive practices will get part of the $630 million payout for restitution, minus costs and fees, according to the announcement.

“People eligible for restitution do not have to submit a claim,” the AG’s office announced. “They will receive automatic payments through PayPal or Venmo, or they can elect to receive a check or ACH transfer.”

More details will be announced at a later time, the announcement said.

In addition to paying customers who were hurt by the alleged Google Play Store misconduct, Google will also have to tweak its business practices.

For example, it will have to maintain Android system support for third-party app stores for four years. It also means app developers will be able to give consumers the ability to pay through in-app billing systems other than Google Play Billing.

Bottom line: Mobile gaming will become much less constrictive for game creators and players who use Android phones.

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Arizona AG announces $700M settlement with Google over Play Store misconduct