36 States File Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google over App Store Abuses

Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies remotely during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on antitrust on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Washington. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP)
Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP

36 states and Washington D.C. have reportedly sued Google alleging that the company illegally abused its power over developers that distribute apps through the Google Play store on mobile devices.

Bloomberg reports that 36 states and Washington, DC, have sued Google, alleging that the internet giant illegally abused its power over developers that distribute apps through the Google Play store on mobile devices.

State attorneys general have filed an antitrust lawsuit that targets the fees Google takes from developers for purchases and subscriptions inside apps. The lawsuit was filed in California federal court.

In a blog post responding to the suit, Google stated:“It’s strange that a group of state attorneys general chose to file a lawsuit attacking a system that provides more openness and choice than others. This complaint mimics a similarly meritless lawsuit filed by the large app developer Epic Games, which has benefitted from Android’s openness by distributing its Fortnite app outside of Google Play.”

The Justice Department and a group of states filed separate complaints over Google’s search business last year. Another state coalition also sued Google over its digital advertising business. Google and Apple have dominated the app economy of the Western world and have come under intense pressure from regulators in recent years over their app store fees.

A total of $143 billion was spent on mobile app stores in 2020, a 20 percent jump from the previous year according to analytics firm App Annie. Google announced in March that it was halving the percentage it takes from app developers on sales through the Play store, following a similar decision by Apple.

Google said it was reducing the fees to 15 percent from 30 percent for the first $1 million in revenue on sales of apps and in-app purchases each year. After the first $1 million, developers will pay the regular 30 percent fee.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com


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