(ConservativeHub.com) – Google’s various services have dominated the internet for longer than most people care to remember. However, a few cracks have begun appearing in their reign in recent years.
On Wednesday, July 7, a group of 36 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against Google’s Play Store for allegedly violating the nation’s antitrust statutes. The lawsuit concentrates on the 30% fee Google charges app developers who sell their products and services using the Play Store.
The suit also alleges Google uses unfair business practices to throttle competition from other app stores, all but forcing the app developers and distributors to market their wares using the Google Play Store.
In an interesting twist, the plaintiffs accused Google of paying rival Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest Android device manufacturing company, not to open up a competing app store. In addition, Google reportedly “bought off” app developers to prevent them from distributing their apps and services using competitors’ stores after Epic Games Inc. began using other companies.
The Parties to the Lawsuit Speak Out
Filed in the San Francisco Division of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, the lawsuit is spearheaded by attorneys general in Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes issued a press release earlier this week announcing the lawsuit. He stated that “Google must be held accountable” for its efforts to wield its “monopolistic power” to dominate the market to leverage control of billions of dollars from competitors.
Continuing, he explained that most consumers are unaware of Google’s years-long use of unfair market strategies. Google’s efforts have created “unnecessary fees” well beyond fair market rates and have “unlawfully inflated [the] costs for many services, upgrades [and] other purchases” on its app store.
Google issued its own statement this week on its blog. It claimed Google built Android to create new choices for people using mobile technology. Users, including competitors, can “customize and build” mobile devices using its operating system free of charge.
Google also said it created its Play Store to streamline the process for Android users to download apps to their devices. If people can’t find the app they want on the Google Play Store, Android is designed to allow them to download apps directly from developers’ sites or app stores competing with Google Play. According to Google, Android doesn’t “impose the same restrictions” on users as other operating systems.
The lawsuit is still in its early stages, and it is unclear whether the states or Google will prevail. However, this is only one of several legal actions pending against the tech giant, increasing the likelihood that it may eventually be held accountable for its practices.
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