Google settles anticompetitive lawsuit led by Utah Attorney General

Dec 20, 2023, 6:00 AM

FILE: The Utah attorney general’s office at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 27, 202...

FILE: The Utah attorney general’s office at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. KSL and the Utah Attorney General’s Office are squaring off in a legal fight over access to Attorney General Sean Reyes’ work calendar. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Google will pay hundreds of millions of dollars to people who bought games from the Google Play Store between August 2016 and September of 2023.

The tech giant settled with a bipartisan group of 52 attorneys general, including Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, in September 2023. The lawsuit had addressed what the AGs called Google’s anticompetitive conduct within the Google Play Store.

This week the finalized terms of the deal were released.

522-2 – Blizzard Ex. a – Settlement and Release by Simone Seikaly on Scribd

Lawsuit claimed Google had several monopolies

The attorneys general sued Google in 2021, claiming Google monopolized the distribution of Android apps. The lawsuit also claimed Google held a monopoly on in-app payment processing.

In their lawsuit, the attorneys general also claimed Google intentionally manipulated the Android operating system. The manipulation reportedly had adverse effects on apps sold outside of the Google Play marketplace. 

“When many experts and other states were hesitant or even opposed, Utah pushed to start the case and has helped navigate it towards resolution in spite of the risks and Google’s massive defense,” said Utah AG Sean Reyes in a statement.

“We are most pleased the settlement includes many of the injunctive remedies we sought that will change Google’s behavior. The dollar amounts are an added bonus to provide relief to Utahns who use Android apps.”

How gamers can receive payment from Google after settled lawsuit

Google will reportedly pay $630 million directly to consumers, and $70 million to the states with $15 million going to Utah.

A statement from Reyes’ office said gamers won’t have to submit a claim to receive money from the settlement. Rather, Google will pay gamers automatically through PayPal, Venmo, or a bank transfer if they choose that method.

“More details about that process will be forthcoming,” Reyes’ office said in the statement.

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Google settles anticompetitive lawsuit led by Utah Attorney General