Google will pay $700M to settle a 2021 lawsuit brought by a coalition of state attorneys general and millions of customers alleging its app store violates antitrust laws. More than 70 million customers are expected to be eligible for immediate payment under the settlement, pending final court approval (see eligibility). The penalty is 7% of the initial states' demand of $10.5B.
Google's parent company, Alphabet, which operates the world's most popular search engine as well as its highest-earning advertising platform, also owns Android, the mobile operating system present on over 70% of the world’s roughly 7 billion smartphones. Claimants argue Google’s smartphone dominance allows it to squelch competing payment systems and app stores on its devices, reducing competition and leading to higher costs for consumers and developers. A separate antitrust case against Google—which could upend internet search—will conclude in May.
The news comes just a week after Fortnite-maker Epic Games won a separate antitrust suit against Google after previously losing a similar case against Apple's app store.