On Wednesday, a coalition of state lawyers launched a new antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the search giant of abusing its control over the Android app store, as reported Bloomberg.
The lawsuit filed by 36 states and the California Federal Court in Washington DC is challenging Google’s policy of forcing Google Play app developers to pay a 30 percent commission on sales made through the app. Google recently expanded Fees associated with covering digital products purchased from the Play Store, specifically targeting a number of significant applications that had previously been able to bypass the tax.
At the time of the press, the lawsuit was available on the court’s website, confirming the Bloomberg report. The key complaint has not yet been published, but the site lists defendants Google, Alphabet and its subsidiaries in Ireland and Asia.
In August, Fortnite developed by Epic Games raised a challenge against Google for similar reasons, arguing that the company ‘s practices have raised prices for consumers online, even though the lawsuit was largely overshadowed in Epic’ s parallel case against Apple and its App Store. Yet the lawsuits of State AG are likely to have more power by designated state-level regulators.
The lawsuit is in the midst of federal pressure on Google, which is already facing three federal competition laws, including an ongoing case from the Ministry of Justice accusing the company of having a monopoly on search advertising.
Android has typically been seen as less of a threat to competition than Apple’s iOS because it doesn’t require Google Play as the only source of software for the phone. However, Apple’s growing pressure has questioned many aspects of the Play Store’s fee structure.
In recent hearings, lawmakers and regulators have repeatedly questioned the ability of Apple and Google to get their apps to store mobile device defaults. often extends to specific applications. Recently, Google joined Apple in lowering its salary to 15 percent for smaller developers, which is widely seen as a response to increasing public pressure.
Google did not respond immediately to the comment request.