Google Faces 37 Lawsuits Over Play Store Policies

Google is facing anti-trust lawsuits in 37 states over policies it employs on the Google Play app store.

The lawsuits claims that the tech giant has used “monopolistic leverage” to generate large profits from purchases made within its own store. It also alleges Google had bought off its competitors.

Google responded by saying that there are rival app stores for Android devices, and that apps can also be downloaded directly from developers’ own websites.

The states involved in the lawsuit include New York, Tennessee and North Carolina, as well as the political central city Washington DC. They criticise the commission Google takes on purchases made within the store, which can be up to 30%, in line with Apple’s App Store policies and the stores of other rivals such as Amazon and Microsoft XBox.

In 2020, Google’s gross revenue from Google Play was $36.8bn (£26.7bn), reported Statista, while Apple chief executive Tim Cook has claimed not to know how profitable the App Store is as an individual entity within his company. Google also says that 97% of developers do not pay it any service fees at all because they are not selling digital products within their apps.

Sean Reyes, Attorney General for the state of Utah, said to BBC News: “Google Play is not fair play. It must stop using its monopolistic power and hyper-dominant market position to unlawfully leverage billions of added dollars from smaller companies, competitors and consumers beyond what should be paid.”

The Coalition For App Fairness was formed last year by a number of developers of different sizes, including Match Group, to maintain a fair and open mobile app industry.

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