Multiple U.S. States Sue Google for Violating Antitrust Laws With Play Store Fees

Attorneys general representing 36 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. today levied an antitrust lawsuit [PDF] against Google to challenge Google Play Store fees, reports Politico.

play store google
The lawsuit was filed in California federal court and is led by Utah, North Carolina, Tennessee, New York, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, and Nebraska. The states are fighting against Google's plan to require all app developers who use the Google Play Store to pay a 30 percent commission on the sales of digital goods or services, which Google plans to enforce in September.

Google last year said that in 2021, it would begin enforcing Play Store rules that require app developers to use Google's in-house billing method instead of independent payment systems. Google has long had this rule, but the company was not strictly enforcing it so developers could avoid using the Play Store billing system and Google's fees.

The change that Google is enacting would put the Google Play Store on level footing with Apple's App Store, as Apple has always required developers to use in-app purchases instead of alternative payment methods. Apple collects a 15 to 30 percent fee from app purchases and in-app purchases, and Apple's situation differs from Google's because the ‌App Store‌ is the only way to install apps. Even if Google implements its Play Store requirements, companies can still offer apps through alternative app stores.

It is not clear if Apple will be hit with a similar lawsuit, but the company has also been facing scrutiny over its ‌App Store‌ fees and policies. Alongside Google, Apple is embroiled in a legal battle with Epic Games over ‌App Store‌ fees and policies. There was a trial in May, and we're still awaiting the judge's ruling in the Apple v. Epic case.

Google is dealing with several other antitrust lawsuits that are part of a wider crackdown on tech companies. The United States Justice Department and 14 states sued Google in October over its dominance of the mobile search market, and an additional 38 states sued Google in December over the same issue.

Top Rated Comments

cmaier Avatar
16 weeks ago

It's about time IOS gets opened up, that way we can finally have true third party browsers with adding. We can have torrents and emulators and all the good stuff Android gets.
You can absolutely have that today! Nobody is stopping you!

Go buy an android device!

And leave iOS and its vastly superior security model for the rest of us who don’t want to deal with all the android malware and spyware.

Thanks!
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Seoras Avatar
16 weeks ago

At least you have an option to use another store on Android.. I don't see how Apple won't get sued for this as well as their policy is much more strict and your limited to just the Apple App Store. If Apple gets off the hook in the Epic case, I don't see how this case wouldn't get thrown out too. But who knows what will happen in that case.
What do you think Facebook, pissed at Apple's new privacy rules in the only iOS App Store, will do if iOS is forced to open up to any app store or side loading?
Consumers need a choice. Buy Android, and have freedoms to install what you like but suffer the privacy and security consquences, or buy Apple and have someone police the software you use.
The only "consumers" I hear complaining about Apple's one app store lock down are those who hate them which includes Facebook, Microsoft et al as well as the spooks who've long complained about the end user getting too much encryption and privacy for their liking.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
16 weeks ago

What does that even mean? Are you saying Apple is a minor player in the App Store ecosystem?
you just invented a market.

Apple has no monopoly in any platform for which it has an App Store. Mac is a tiny percentage of the PC market. iPhone is, even in the US, only around half the smartphone market, and a lot less than that worldwide. etc.

The only time companies have been found guilty of antitrust behavior for anything even remotely similar to what apple does the App Store (there are actually no precedents that are particularly close), is when the companies controlled the overall market (i.e. when Microsoft had 80+% of the operating system market - and even the ruling against Microsoft didn’t hold up on appeals).
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Spinn_ Avatar
16 weeks ago
Sounds like the difference here is Apple has enforced this policy from the beginning and Google is trying to enforce this after years of letting it slide.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alexandr Avatar
16 weeks ago

You can absolutely have that today! Nobody is stopping you!

Go buy an android device!

And leave iOS and its vastly superior security model for the rest of us who don’t want to deal with all the android malware and spyware.

Thanks!
seriously, i don't want torrents and emulators anywhere near my iphone. it's mind boggling that someone is actually expecting apple to do this...
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fncd Avatar
16 weeks ago

seriously, i don't want torrents and emulators anywhere near my iphone. it's mind boggling that someone is actually expecting apple to do this...
Then….don’t install them?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

play store google

Google Lowers Play Store Subscription Fee From 30% to 15%

Thursday October 21, 2021 9:31 am PDT by
After lowering its Play Store commission from 30 percent to 15 percent in March, Google today announced that it is making the same change to subscription fees, an update applicable to all app developers, reports The Verge. At the current time, Google's subscription policy works like Apple's. Google collects 30 percent from a subscription during the first year, and then drops that to 15...
play store google

Google Criticizes EU Regulators for Ignoring Apple in Bid to Get $5.1 Billion Antitrust Fine Annulled

Monday September 27, 2021 1:32 pm PDT by
Google today lambasted European Union regulators for ignoring Apple and the rivalry between Apple and Android in the antitrust accusations that have been levied against Google, reports Reuters. Apple was brought up as part of Google's attempt to get a massive 4.34 billion euro ($5.1 billion) fine annulled. The European Commission first levied the fine against Google in 2018 because Google...
Google apps isolated

Google Apps for iOS to Switch to UIKit After Decade of Material Design

Monday October 11, 2021 7:20 am PDT by
Google is winding down its Material Design custom UI for iOS apps to switch to pure UIKit, according to Google's design chief for Apple platforms Jeff Verkoeyen. Google's suite of apps for iOS and iPadOS, including Gmail, Google Maps, Google Photos, Google Drive, and YouTube, have used custom user interfaces that mirror the experience on Android for almost a decade. The purpose of these...
google iphone home screen

Google Basically Wants Your iPhone 13 Home Screen to Look Like Android

Tuesday September 28, 2021 5:59 am PDT by
In a new blog post titled "Bring the best of Google to your iPhone," Google is on an endeavor to convince new iPhone 13 users to transform their ‌device’s home screen to look like Android. The blog post, written by Google's director for the iOS platform, features screenshots of an iPhone 13 home screen filled with Google apps and widgets. The post implies that customers should possibly...
Mac App Store General Feature

South Korea Delays Bill That Would Ban Apple From Requiring Developers to Use In-App Purchase System

Monday August 30, 2021 7:07 am PDT by
South Korea has delayed voting on a bill that would ban Apple and Google from requiring developers to use their in-app purchasing systems, a move that would open the door to allowing third-party payment methods, representing a possible significant threat to Apple and Google's app marketplace business models. The bill, coming in the form of an amendment to the existing Telecommunications...
Mac App Store General Feature

Apple and Google Given Mid-October Deadline in South Korea for Filing Plans to Allow Outside Payment Systems in Apps

Wednesday September 29, 2021 7:18 am PDT by
Apple and Google have been asked to provide compliance plans for a newly amended law in South Korea that bars both tech giants from forcing developers to using their in-app purchase payment system for their respective app distribution platforms, Reuters reports. In August, South Korea passed an amendment to an existing law that bans Apple and Google from mandating developers to use their own ...
paddle in app purchase

Paddle Plans to Launch Alternative In-App Purchase System on iOS That Circumvents Apple's Fees

Thursday October 7, 2021 1:00 am PDT by
In response to the Epic Games vs. Apple ruling last month, payments platform Paddle today announced that it plans to launch an alternative in-app payment system for iOS that replaces Apple's in-app purchase mechanism. In an emailed press release, Paddle described its payment system as a "true like-for-like, drop-in replacement" for Apple's in-app purchase mechanism, allowing developers to...
app store blue banner

South Korea Could Ban Apple From Requiring Developers to Use In-App Purchase System

Tuesday August 24, 2021 10:31 am PDT by
South Korea may soon ban Apple and Google from requiring app developers to use their in-app purchase systems, reports Reuters. South Korea's legislation and judiciary committee is expected to approve an "Anti-Google Law" that amends the existing Telecommunications Business Act. It will require Apple and Google to allow third-party payment methods in their app stores in South Korea, and it...
safarisearchengineios

Google Could Pay Apple $15 Billion to Maintain Default iOS Search Engine Status in 2021, Suggests Analyst

Friday August 27, 2021 1:34 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple and Google have a considerable monetary agreement that ensures Google's position as the default search engine on Apple's devices. In a new investor note by financial advisor Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi, the analyst claims Google's payment to Apple to maintain the status quo could reach $15 billion in 2021, up from $10 billion last year. First reported by Ped30,...
iOs 15 Safari Feature

Google to Fix Bug That Disables Safari AMP Search Results on iOS 15 Devices

Wednesday October 6, 2021 2:55 pm PDT by
A bug in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 is preventing Safari from loading AMP links for Google search results, but the issue is not intentional and Google is preparing a fix that's set to be released in the near future. Developer Jeff Johnson today published a blog post speculating on whether Google had intentionally disabled AMP links for Google search results in Safari on devices running iOS 15 (via ...