Do You Qualify to Earn Part of the $700 Million Google Is Giving Out Right Now?

As Google is forced to pay out $700 million, you could be one of the many that benefits.
Updated June 6, 2024
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Google is paying up, and you might be one of the recipients. Google is set to make a substantial payout of $700 million to settle an antitrust lawsuit brought by state prosecutors and is expected to benefit an estimated 102 million eligible consumers across the United States, aiming to bring lower prices for apps and foster increased innovation within the app development community.

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Google lawsuit details

The lawsuit, Utah et al. v. Google, targeted the high fees imposed by Google on app developers, alleging the illegal use of monopoly power to drive up prices and limit consumer choice. Google will pay $630 million to a fund divided among an estimated 102 million people across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. An additional $70 million will be set aside for states to address other related claims.

The impact of this settlement is expected to result in tangible benefits for consumers; as North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein emphasized, "Because of the settlement, Americans are going to see lower prices for apps and greater innovation." The states involved in the lawsuit believe the negotiated amount represents a fair consumer restitution.

How to get paid from the Google settlement

According to the terms, an "eligible consumer" includes individuals whose legal address in their Google payments profile was in a U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands when they made app purchases or in-app transactions through Google Play from Aug. 16, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2023. If you qualify, it can be a great way to make a little extra money after the holidays. 

The best part is that approximately 70% of eligible consumers, or 71.4 million people, are expected to receive automatic payments without the need to file a claim.

According to the settlement administrator, customers will collect payments from Google through automated payments without needing to submit a claim formally. If you’re eligible, you will receive a notification via email about the payment.

If the email address associated with your Google Play account matches an email address associated with PayPal or Venmo, then the payment will be directly made there. Those without Venmo and PayPal will receive a direct deposit or physical check.

Payment will be a minimum of $2 to each customer, and users may receive additional payments for amounts in proportion to their Google Play spending between August 2016 and September 2023. Taking advantage of free cash is a good money move to make as you look to the new year. 

How Google's lawsuit will improve the industry going forward

As part of the settlement, Google has committed to simplifying the process for users to "sideload" apps, allowing them to download apps directly from a developer's website rather than exclusively through the Google Play store. This move aims to enhance user flexibility and reduce reliance on Google's platform.

Additionally, Google will now grant all app developers the option to enable users to pay through a third-party system, bypassing Google's payment system. Previously, Google mandated most app developers to use its billing system, which incurred fees of up to 30% of payments. Now, app developers opting for third-party billing platforms will receive a four-percentage-point discount.

The settlement also addresses concerns about the alleged anti-competitive practices in Google's app store. It signifies a significant victory for the states that filed the lawsuit, asserting that Google's contracts had unfairly restricted competition within the Google Play store.

This legal development comes amidst a broader landscape of antitrust scrutiny faced by major tech companies. Google, in particular, is contending with two other anti-monopoly cases filed by the U.S. Justice Department — one focused on its practices in dominating the online search market and the other on its control over the online ads sector.

In light of these legal challenges, the settlement represents a notable financial commitment by Google and a potential shift in the dynamics of the app development ecosystem. As consumers await lower prices for apps and increased innovation, the app community anticipates newfound growth and user engagement opportunities.

Bottom line

The $700 million Google antitrust lawsuit settlement is poised to have far-reaching implications for consumers, app developers, and the broader tech landscape. As Google navigates legal challenges, the settlement reflects a proactive step towards addressing antitrust concerns and fostering a more competitive and innovative app ecosystem.

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Author Details

Georgina Tzanetos Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who has been active in financial media for the past six years. She holds a master's in political economy from NYU, where she studied distressed labor markets.