Google has reached a settlement in the antitrust lawsuit filed by 36 US states and the District of Columbia, including announcing changes that will impact users and developers.
As part of the settlement, Google will cough up $700 million. The breakdown includes $630 million earmarked for a settlement fund benefiting consumers and an additional $70 million directed towards a fund for the states, with distribution details yet to be disclosed.
Developers can also expect alterations in Android. Google is set to introduce a streamlined sideloading process and updated language aimed at enlightening users about potential risks associated with direct app downloads from the web. While the specifics of the new sideloading workflow and wording remain undisclosed, thes changes will aim to enhance user awareness and security.
Addressing concerns raised in the lawsuit, Google has also committed to ensuring clarity for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). OEMs will retain the ability to provide users with options to use either the Play Store or alternative app stores. Android 14 will empower alternate stores to manage future application updates, including automatic installations during periods of app inactivity.
Furthermore, the User Choice Billing feature – allowing Android apps and games to offer their own payment systems – is expanding in the US. Developers will gain the capability to display varied pricing options within the app during user digital purchases.
It’s important to note that these changes are contingent on formal court approval. This settlement stands apart from the recent jury trial involving Epic, where Google was found to have an “illegal monopoly.” Google is actively challenging that verdict, with remedies expected to be determined in mid-January.
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