Published On: Tue, Nov 29th, 2022

Google may face more trouble in the US for Play Store ‘rules’, here’s why – Times of India

A lawsuit against Google, which alleges that the company ‘unlawfully’ preserves Play Store monopoly thereby violating US anti-competition laws, will now proceed as a consumer class action of 21 million individuals.
As per a report by news agency Reuters, the presiding judge said in a 27-page order that the plaintiffs had established the legal elements of “commonality” and other factors to form a class action. A class action, or a class-action lawsuit, is a type of lawsuit where one of the parties is a group of people represented by a member or members of that group.
The class members are Google Play Store individual consumers in 12 states, including Ohio, Michigan and Georgia, in addition to American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, the report says. They have sought damages of $4.7 billion.
What Google has to say
Google has denied the claims and defended its Play Store business practices. “We’re evaluating the ruling, and after that, we’ll assess our options,” a Google spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Furthermore, attorneys for Google claimed that the plaintiffs failed to show how they were harmed – the argument that was rejected by the judge.

36 states sue Google
In July this year, a group of 36 states and the District of Columbia sued Google claiming that Google abuses its market power through the Play Store and forces aggressive terms on software developers. App developers claim that they have problems with the way Google makes them use its own system for in-app purchases and charges a 30% commission.
“Because of Google’s anticompetitive conduct, Google Play Store’s market share — which is well over 90 per cent — faces no credible threats, and market forces cannot exert pressure on its supracompetitive commissions,” the complaint said.
At that time, Google said that the “lawsuit ignores choice on Android and Google Play.”
“Android and Google Play provide openness and choice that other platforms simply don’t. 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,” Wilson White, senior director of public policy at Google, said in a blog post.
Google also noted that the allegation wherein it was claimed that consumers and developers have no option other than to use Google Play is not correct. “Choice has always been a core tenet of Android. Device makers and carriers can preload competing app stores alongside Google Play on their devices. In fact, most Android devices ship with two or more app stores preloaded,” the executive added.

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