Antitrust Lawsuit: Google Tried to ‘Preemptively Quash’ Samsung’s Rival App Store

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An antitrust lawsuit filed by 36 states and Washington DC alleges that Google used anticompetitive practices in an attempt to “preemptively quash” Samsung’s Galaxy Store as it worried it could become a viable competitor in the app marketplace to Google’s own Play Store.

The Verge reports that according to an antitrust lawsuit filed by a coalition of three dozen state attorneys general, Google used anticompetitive practices in an attempt to “preemptively quash” Samsung’s Galaxy Store and prevent it from becoming a viable competitor to its own Play Store.

The suit accuses Google of attempting to control app distribution on the Android platform and alleges that Google paid off app developers to stop them from circumventing its store. The allegations challenge one of Google’s core defenses of its policies, which is that unlike Apple’s iOS rules Android allows both competing app stores and side-loading apps directly.

The lawsuit is claiming that Google’s supposed openness is a facade and while customers technically have the choice of where to get their apps from, Google’s business practices have prevented a viable app store competitor from emerging. “Google felt deeply threatened when Samsung began to revamp its own app store, the Samsung Galaxy Store,” the suit claims.

The suit describes Google’s approach to the competing store as “a threat it needed to preemptively quash.” The suit outlines a range of tactics Google allegedly used to prevent Samsung’s store from becoming a viable competitor. It claims that Google used revenues hare agreements with Android phone manufacturers that “outright prohibited” pre-installing some other app stores, and that it made “a direct attempt to pay Samsung to abandon relationships with top developers and scale back competition through the Samsung Galaxy Store.”

As well as attempting to nullify Samsung’s store directly, the attorneys general claim that Googled worked with app developers to encourage them not to distribute their apps outside of the Play Store, effectively paying them off while imposing distribution restrictions on their apps.

Read more at the Verge here.

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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