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Google faces lawsuit from 37 US States over alleged Play Store monopoly

The tech titan is accused of "harming small businesses and consumers"

Google faces lawsuit from 37 US States over alleged Play Store monopoly

Google is facing a lawsuit surrounding the way it operates its Google Play Store and whether its practices are holding a monopoly on the market.

As spotted by GamesIndustry.biz, the lawsuit is being spearheaded by several US States, including Utah, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee, with claims that Google employed restrictive contracts in addition to “buying off” competitors in a way to suppress the market.

The Google Play store takes a 30 per cent cut for earnings in excess of $1 million per year, with a 15 per cent levy applied to the first $1 million. The US States argue that by unfairly restricting competition, consumers are directly affected by higher prices and a limited choice.

"Menace"

"Google’s monopoly is a menace to the marketplace," said Utah attorney general Sean Reyes.

"Google Play is not fair play. Google must be held accountable for harming small businesses and consumers."

"It must stop using its monopolistic power and hyper-dominant market position to unlawfully leverage billions of added dollars from smaller companies, competitors and consumers beyond what should be paid."

Responding via a blog post, Google stated, "if you don’t find the app you’re looking for in Google Play, you can choose to download the app from a rival app store or directly from a developer’s website."

"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."

Epic Games brought the fight to Google in the UK earlier this year claiming that the media giant is unfairly restricting competition.

Similarly, Epic Games and Apple are currently embroiled in a legal battle between one another regarding the latter’s removal of Fortnite from the App Store - most recently in Australia.


Staff Writer

Aaron Orr is a freelance writer for PocketGamer.biz with a lifelong interest and passion for the games industry.

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