Google has comitted to making significant changes in the play store after the trail.
Although Google permits other app stores to run on its Google-powered version of Android, It’s obvious that the Play Store is the place to go for developers who want to reach a significant number of users. Developers have long complained that Google has been squandering its authority over this huge market, and a suit for class-action was filed by 2021. A settlement has been agreed to that includes Google creating the $90 million Fund to help less-established developers within the US and bringing significant modifications to Play Store. Play Store.
A class-action suit was initiated in 2021 by over 48,000 plaintiffs, represented by Hagens Berman, a law firm that has already had a few victories over Big Tech companies. Hagens Berman reports that its plaintiffs are guaranteed to receive settlements up to a few hundred thousand dollars and up to $200,000 for a more powerful developer ( spotted by Mishaal Rahman). The funds will be repaid via Google’s $90 million Fund, and a majority of developers within the US are qualified. Google claims it will pay the funds to those who “earned two million dollars or less in annual revenue through Google Play during each year from 2016-2021,” which would appear to be around 90% of developers on the platform.
“A vast majority of US developers who earned revenue through Google Play will be eligible to receive money from this fund if they choose. If the Court approves the settlement, developers that qualify will be notified and allowed to receive a distribution from the fund,” the search giant noted in a blog post.
Alongside the financial aspect, Google has agreed to several major modifications to the Play Store to accommodate smaller developers better:
The company has agreed to continue offering developers their first $1 million annual revenues through the Play Store a discounted commission percentage up to a minimum of May 25, 2025. This is a 50% reduction on the usual 30% fee that the company initially launched in 2021.
Google will also create the “Indie Apps Corner” to “showcase independent and small startup developers building unique high-quality apps” directly in the app section in the US Play Store.
A new distribution agreement between developers will clarify that developers may utilize contact information collected through the Play Store to inform customers about additional offers, such as “subscription offers or lower-cost offerings on a rival app store or the developer’s website.”
Furthermore, the company has also pledged to keep the modifications made in Android 12, which make it easier to access alternative Android apps for a minimum of three years.
Google will also release an annual transparency report which will provide details on how developers function in accordance with this settlement deal. It will also include “statistics such as apps removed from Google Play, account terminations, and other data regarding how users interact with Google Play.”
It’s true; Google maintains that it isn’t guilty of any offense in Court but states that this deal “will avoid protracted and unnecessary litigation with developers, whom we see as vital partners in the Android ecosystem.”
Hagens Berman previously successfully represented several developers in a legal case in the Apple App Store. The firm obtained an agreement worth $100 million for iOS developers who had similarly-themed claims to Apple. With its history, we may see similar cases before the courts.