Alphabet Inc. will pay US$700 million and alter its Google Play policies to settle claims that the app store unlawfully dominates the Android mobile applications market, resolving antitrust complaints brought by attorneys general of about three dozen states and consumers.
The deal, disclosed in a court filing late Monday, calls for changes to Play Store policies to reduce barriers to competition in the markets for app distribution and payment processing. The lawsuits, grouped together in federal court in California, threatened billions of dollars in revenue generated by the sale and distribution of apps through Google Play.
“This settlement builds on Android’s choice and flexibility, maintains strong security protections and retains Google’s ability to compete” with makers of other operating systems, Wilson White, Google’s vice president for government affairs and public policy, said in a statement. White said the agreement also maintains the company’s ability to invest in the Android ecosystem for users and developers.
Google is facing mounting antitrust challenges at home and abroad. The U.S. Justice Department alleges it has illegally maintained a monopoly over search and advertising, in a case expected to be decided next year. The U.S. is also trying to break up its ad technology business, in a case filed earlier this year. And European Union competition chief Margrethe Vestager said in June that the only way to restore competition in that sector was for Google to spin off its ad tech business.