Press Releases

Attorney General William Tong


Attorney General Tong Announces $700 Million Settlement with Google Over Play Store Misconduct

(Hartford, CT) -- Attorney General William Tong and a bipartisan group of 52 other attorneys general today announced a $700 million agreement with Google in their lawsuit about Google’s anticompetitive conduct with the Google Play Store.

“Today’s settlement is a loud and clear message to Big Tech—attorneys general across the country are unified, and we are prepared to use the full weight of our collective authority to ensure free and fair access to the digital marketplace,” said Attorney General William Tong. “Google lured developers to its Android platform with promises of an open source marketplace. They broke that promise. As soon as they amassed a customer base, Google deployed unfair and unlawful restraints and restrictions that locked out competition and forced use of their own products. Our settlement today will send money directly back to consumers and forces powerful reforms to restore fair competition to the Google Play marketplace. This is the first resolution in a series of enforcement actions attorneys general are taking against Google over its illegal monopoly practices and anticompetitive exclusionary contracts and conduct. I expect 2024 will be an active and aggressive year for attorneys general taking on Big Tech.”

Google will pay $630 million in restitution, minus costs and fees, to consumers who made purchases on the Google Play Store between August 2016 and September 2023 and were harmed by Google’s anticompetitive practices. Google will pay the states an additional $70 million for their sovereign claims. People eligible for restitution do not have to submit a claim – they will receive automatic payments through PayPal or Venmo, or they can elect to receive a check or ACH transfer. More details about that process will be forthcoming. The agreement also requires Google to make their business practices more procompetitive in a number of important ways.

The attorneys general sued Google in 2021 alleging that Google unlawfully monopolized the market Android app distribution and in-app payment processing. Specifically, the states claimed that Google signed anticompetitive contracts to prevent other app stores from being preloaded on Android devices, bought off key app developers who might have launched rival app stores, and created technological barriers to deter consumers from directly downloading apps to their devices. The states announced a settlement in principle on September 5, 2023, and today released the finalized terms of that deal.

The settlement requires Google to reform its business practices in the following ways:
Give all developers the ability to allow users to pay through in-app billing systems other than Google Play Billing for at least five years.
Allow developers to offer cheaper prices for their apps and in-app products for consumers who use alternative, non-Google billing systems for at least five years.
Permit developers to steer consumers toward alternative, non-Google billing systems by advertising cheaper prices within their apps themselves for at least five years.
Not enter contracts that require the Play Store to the be the exclusive, pre-loaded app store on a device or home screen for at least five years.
Allow the installation of third-party apps on Android phones from outside the Google Play Store for at least seven years.
Revise and reduce the warnings that appear on an Android device if a user attempts to download a third-party app from outside the Google Play Store for at least 5 years.
Maintain Android system support for third-party app stores, including allowing automatic updates, for four years.
Not require developers to launch their app catalogs on the Play Store at the same time as they launch on other app stores for at least four years.
Submit compliance reports to an independent monitor who will ensure that Google is not continuing its anticompetitive conduct for at least 5 years.

For much of this case, the attorneys general litigated alongside Epic Games and Match, two major app developers. Match announced a separate settlement earlier this year, while Epic Games took its case to trial. A jury unanimously found that Google’s anticompetitive conduct violated the federal antitrust laws early last week.

This lawsuit was led by the attorneys general of North Carolina, Utah, Tennessee, New York, and California, and joined by the attorneys general of all remaining states, the District of Columbia and the territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

A copy of the settlement is available here.

Former Assistant Attorney General Julia Sorensen, Deputy Associate Attorney General Nicole Demers, Chief of the Antitrust Section, assisted the Attorney General in this matter.
Twitter: @AGWilliamTong
Facebook: CT Attorney General
Media Contact:

Elizabeth Benton

Consumer Inquiries: