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
36 months 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: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Seoras Avatar
36 months 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: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
36 months 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)
fncd Avatar
36 months 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: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Spinn_ Avatar
36 months 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)
farewelwilliams Avatar
36 months ago
Which is stupid. It's Google's platform. As long as there is an alternative, let Google do what they want.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
apple tv 4k yellow bg feature

When to Expect a New Apple TV to Launch

Tuesday April 9, 2024 8:30 am PDT by
It has been nearly a year and a half since the current Apple TV was released, so the device is becoming due for a hardware upgrade. Below, we recap rumors about the next Apple TV, including potential features and launch timing. The current model is the third-generation Apple TV 4K, announced in October 2022. Key new features compared to the previous model from 2021 include a faster A15...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

iOS 18 May Feature All-New 'Safari Browsing Assistant'

Wednesday April 10, 2024 6:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 will apparently feature a new Safari browsing assistant, according to backend code on Apple's servers discovered by Nicolás Álvarez. MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris confirmed that the code exists, but not many details are known at this time. Álvarez said it seems like the browsing assistant will use iCloud Private Relay's infrastructure to send relevant data to Apple in a...
maxresdefault

Review: Six Months With the iPhone 15 Pro

Wednesday April 10, 2024 10:53 am PDT by
It's been a bit over six months since the iPhone 15 lineup came out in September, and MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera has been using an iPhone 15 Pro Max sans case since launch. Over on our YouTube channel, Dan did a long term review to demo how his phone has held up and his thoughts on the Action button, battery life, and camera features. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

Alleged iPhone 16 Battery Details Show Smaller Capacity for One Model

Tuesday April 9, 2024 3:46 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup will feature bigger battery capacities compared to previous-generation models with the exception of the iPhone 16 Plus, which will have a smaller battery than its predecessor. That's according to the Chinese Weibo-based leaker OvO Baby Sauce OvO, a relatively new source of supply chain leaks with an as-yet unproven track record for accuracy. The iPhone 16 ...