A US federal judge, James Donato, has given the green light to a $26 million payout to lawyers representing Android software developers involved in a legal battle against Alphabet’s Google. The tech giant had faced accusations of stifling competition within its Play app store.
The approved settlement comes on the heels of a significant victory for the plaintiffs, who managed to secure a $90 million cash settlement from Google. Notable law firms such as Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, Sperling & Slater, and Hausfeld are among those set to receive the payout.
As part of the settlement, Google has agreed to maintain a reduced 15% service fee for app developers on their first $1 million in annual revenue until May 2025. Additionally, Google committed to revising its developer distribution agreement.
This legal battle was part of a broader antitrust challenge against Google’s practices in the Play store. In a separate case in December, Google suffered a setback when it lost a jury trial against Epic Games, the creator of “Fortnite.” Epic Games is seeking a court order to overhaul Play store policies. Despite the loss, Google, on Thursday, expressed its intention to request Judge Donato to overturn the verdict or grant a new trial.
In a related development, Google reached a settlement last month with states and consumers, amounting to $700 million. As part of the agreement, Google committed to revamping its Play store. The state and consumer plaintiffs had alleged that Google overcharged them through unnecessary fees and imposed restrictions on the distribution of apps.
Google, however, has consistently denied any wrongdoing. The tech giant did not immediately respond to requests for comment following the recent approval of the settlement in the app developers’ case.