37 US states’ attorney generals are suing Google over its anti-competitive practices favoring Google Play Store. They allege these practices help the Play Store maintain an effective market monopoly. The officers also allege that Google paid off Samsung and other app developers to limit competition.
Details of the lawsuit
The allegations arise from an investigation involving 50 states in September 2019. The states, led by Utah, New York, North Carolina, and Tennesee have filed a lawsuit at the Northern District of California. The lawsuit states:
“Google leverages its monopoly power with Android to unlawfully maintain its monopoly in the Android app distribution market”.
The lawsuit alleges that Google offered a one-off payment to Samsung in exchange for limiting the development of its own competing app store. It further alleges that Google paid app developers in order to deter them from making applications available on app stores other than Google’s Play Store.
Speaking to ITPro, Google’s Senior Director of Public Policy said that the complaint mimics the Epic Games lawsuit, which he says has benefitted from Android’s openness by distributing its Fortnite app outside of Google Play. He further says:
This lawsuit isn’t about helping the little guy or protecting consumers. It’s about boosting a handful of major app developers who want the benefits of Google Play without paying for it.”