Google is facing a lawsuit from 36 US states and Washington D.C. over antitrust practices regarding the company’s Play Store. An app which is pre-installed on all Android phones that acts as the main, centralized way to distribute other applications to users’ devices.
The lawsuit alleges that Google is using its power and control over the app distribution ecosystem on the Android platform, to force developers into using the Play Store to distribute apps. But mainly that Google is using its control to force developers to pay the 30% fee the company imposes on digital goods and services.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because Google has already been fighting this same battle in court against Fortnite maker Epic Games. Which has repeatedly pulled Google into the fray during Epic’s battle with Apple. Stating that it charges an unfair amount for digital goods and services.
The Play Store lawsuit could see Google lose its commission
Google enjoys a nice chunk of change from any digital goods and services from Play Store purchases. Things like in-game micro transactions for items and premium currency. As well as monthly app subscriptions, are all be part of this “Google Tax.” And Google receives 30% of all of those purchases. If Google has its way, then this lawsuit won’t disturb any of those fees.
But the lawsuit could see Google either lose that commission. Or, perhaps more likely, have it decreased to a smaller amount. Since the lawsuit has just been filed it’s hard to say exactly how this could play out. But there are a few possibilities. A lower commission fee on digital goods for Google being one of them.
Among the US states involved in the lawsuit are Arizona, California, Tennessee, Colorado, Utah, North Carolina, Iowa, New York, and Nebraska.
Google has maintained that it charges a fee based on what is the industry standard. Though this new lawsuit will surely test the strength of that argument. And see if it can continue to hold weight.
Google is also facing another lawsuit that focuses on its dominance in the Search market.