Google faces 37-state lawsuit over app store

Google is facing a lawsuit from 37 US states over concerns about its app store Google Play.

According to the BBC, the lawsuit alleges that the technology giant has used “monopolistic leverage” to make big profits from purchases made in its app store.

The legal action also claims that the company has bought off its competitors and criticises the commission Google takes on purchases, which can reach up to 30 per cent.

States involved in the lawsuit include New York, Tennessee, Washington DC, and North Carolina.

"Google Play is not fair play," Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said in a statement.
"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."

Google hit back at the allegations in a blog post written by its senior director of public policy, Wilson White.

White said that the company does not impose the same restrictions as other mobile operating systems do.

“If you don’t find the app you’re looking for in Google Play, you can choose to download the app from a rival app store or directly from a developer’s website,” he wrote. “So 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.”

White said that the complaint mimics a “similarly meritless” lawsuit filed by large app developer Epic Games, which “has benefitted from Android’s openness.”

Google said that its app store competes vigorously and fairly, while Android “increases competition and choice.”

It denied the allegation that consumers and developers have no option other than to use Google Play.

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