Google Faces $1 Billion Lawsuit Over App Store Overcharges

Google is facing a $1 billion lawsuit in London after it allegedly overcharged 19.5 million customers for app-store purchases.

The class action, which was certified by the Competition Appeal Tribunal on Monday, alleges Google abused its dominant position by charging up to 30% commission on popular apps on its Play Store, including Roblox, Candy Crush Saga and Tinder since October 2015.

A detailed judgment has yet to be published, a spokesperson for the claimant group said on Tuesday. Google did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Regulators, rivals and consumer champions are trying to curb Big Tech, filing lawsuits across the globe against the likes of Google and rival Apple over alleged anti-competitive behaviour. The European Union alone has fined Google more than 8 billion euros ($8.2 billion) in recent years over anti-trust practices.

Google has been the centre of attention in recent months over pay disputes. Most recently, Match Group and Google reached an interim compromise over app payments.

Match withdrew its request for a temporary restraining order against the company, which it accused Google of wielding unfair monopoly power in its mobile app marketplace. Match filed an antitrust lawsuit against the search giant earlier this month over the company’s restrictions on Android in-app payments, which drive app users toward remaining in its mobile ecosystem. The company filed the temporary restraining order request a day after suing Google.

Match cited a handful of “concessions” from Google in its decision to withdraw the restraining order request, including assurances that its apps would not be rejected or deleted from the Google Play Store for providing alternative payment options. The company will also place up to $40 million aside in an escrow account in lieu of paying fees to Google directly for Android app payments that happen outside of Google Play’s payment system, arguing that those fees are “illegal under federal and state law.” The escrow account will remain in place while the case awaits its day in court.