“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,” said Google in response.
In a fresh action against Google, a coalition of state attorneys general has launched a new antitrust lawsuit, which accuses Google of abusing its control on the Android app store. The lawsuit, filed by 36 states and Washington, DC, in California federal court, challenges Google’s policy forcing Google Play app developers to pay a 30 percent commission fee on sales made through the app.
Google charges commission over digital goods purchased through apps listed on the store. It recently expanded the fees to cover more digital goods purchased on the Play Store, targeting few apps that have previously been evading the tax. The complaint lists the defendants as Google, Alphabet, and subsidiaries in Ireland and Asia.
“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,” Google wrote in a blog post responding to the lawsuit. “This complaint mimics a similarly meritless lawsuit filed by the large app developer Epic Games, which has benefitted from Android’s openness by distributing its Fortnite app outside of Google Play.”
The lawsuit comes amid growing federal pressure on Google, which is already facing three federal antitrust lawsuits, including monopoly practices in search advertising. In recent hearings, lawmakers and regulators have repeatedly questioned Apple and Google’s ability to make their app store the defaults on mobile devices.