Google Says It Has Paid $400 Million to Settle Location Tracking Lawsuit

Alphabet’s Google will pay nearly $400 million (roughly Rs. 3,200 crore) to settle a complaint brought by a group of states over alleged illegal tracking and advertising of users’ locations, two people familiar with the matter said.

The announcement will come on Monday, sources said.

The lawsuit, which includes Oregon, the people said, is a sign of growing headaches for the tech company from federal prosecutors who have been aggressively targeting the company’s user tracking methods in recent months.

Arizona filed a similar case against Google and settled it for $85 million (roughly Rs. 690 crore) in October 2022.

Texas, Indiana, Washington State and the District of Columbia sued Google in January over what they called deceptive location tracking practices that invade users’ privacy.

Google and Oregon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Google had a revenue of $111 billion (roughly Rs. 8,99,100 crore) from advertising in the first half of this year, more than any other online ad seller. Consumer positioning is key in helping an advertiser cut through the digital clutter to make an ad more relevant and capture the consumer’s attention.

At the beginning of last month, it was reported that European antitrust regulators are investigating the string of Google Play Store Google, the company said in a regulatory filing, a move that could expose the US technology giant to another billion euro fine.

Over the past decade, Google has received EUR 8.25 billion (roughly Rs. 67,900 crore) in antitrust fines from the EU following three investigations into its business practices.

EU antitrust regulators are investigating whether Google’s threat to remove apps from its Google Play Store if app developers use other payment options instead of its payment system has hurt developers, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters in August.

Fees charged by Google and Apple for their mobile app stores have drawn criticism from developers who say they are excessive.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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