Society & Lifestyle

Google Tentatively Settles Play Store Antitrust Suit

Alphabet has tentatively settled claims that Google Play is involved in the practice of abusing its powers to control mobile apps designed for devices running on the Android operating system.

Google Tentatively Settles Play Store Antitrust Suit

The company managed to pre-resolve complaints about corporate policy, which were received from consumers and prosecutors in about 30 US states.

The deal was disclosed in a lawsuit on Tuesday, September 5. The lawyers, who are representatives of the Attorney General of Utah, suggested that the plaintiffs file a class action. At the same time, the tech giant asked the judge to cancel the trial, which was scheduled for early November.

In the case that the judge decides to reject the settlement agreement for one reason or another, both sides will return to their original positions.

The details of the agreement, including information about the amount to be paid by the technology giant, were not specified in the application. The parties plan to announce the status of the deal at a hearing scheduled for October.

If the agreement is approved, the technology giant will be able to avoid litigation, during which 21 million users make claims for damages in the framework of an antitrust lawsuit.

The preliminary deal was concluded after U.S. District Judge James Donato in San Francisco in July decided to overturn his ruling granting the plaintiffs class-action status. This means that the case can be referred to as a group lawsuit. At the same time, the judge announced his intention to reconsider this issue.

The essence of the consumer claims is that, in their opinion, the technology giant has inflated the prices of apps for devices with the Android operating system on its virtual platform of the corresponding digital products. They also claim that this practice of the company, which contradicts the conceptual foundations of the rules for ensuring equal competitive conditions and violates the basic principles of the antimonopoly regulation system, caused a 30% decrease in sales in Google Play.

The attorneys General stated in their complaint from 2021 that the technology giant used tactics to limit the possibilities of competition so that developers would find themselves in the absence of any other option for interacting with consumers of their product, except through the company’s digital store of mobile apps.

Epic Games, which filed a lawsuit with similar claims, is not a party to the proposed agreement with Google Play. The founder and CEO of the company Tim Sweeney posted a message containing relevant information on the page on the social network X. He also said that if the tech giant gives up the payment monopoly without imposing its tax on third-party transactions, his firm will establish friendly relations with Google. Separately, Tim Sweeney noted that the continuation of the practice of levying taxes for Epic Games will be a signal to fight further. According to him, consumers will benefit provided that the implementation of antimonopoly legislation will open the market and restore price competition.

The case is under antitrust proceedings in Google Play Store, 21-md-02981, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.

As we have reported earlier, Italy Accepts Data Portability Offer From Google.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.