A new lawsuit was filed by 36 US states against Google. The lawsuit comes after Google is suspected for monopolistic activities in application distribution and payments on the Google Play Store. The suit claims that Google has violated Section 1 and 2 of the Antitrust Laws, which is better known as the Sherman Act.
According to the plaintiff states (via GSMArena), Google has imposed “technological obstacles or inaccurate warnings” to scare users from sideloading applications outside of the Google Play Store, and has prohibited OEMs from preloading competitive app stores onto their devices. The documents also state that 90% of all Android users in the United States are using the Google Play Store as their main app store. The document also claims that no other third party store has more than 5% market share.
The lawsuit doesn’t only accuse Google of the app distribution, but also how the company collects and forces its own payment system on other developers and companies. It affects both in-app purchases and individual app purchases. Other payment processors such as PayPal charge much less fees for transactions, compared to Google Play Billing at just 2.9% and 30 cents. Although Google has announced not that long ago that it’s commission will be reduced for developers who earn less than $1 million, and also offered reduced commissions to TV, auto, tablet and smartwatch developers, it seems like that wasn’t enough to prevent such a lawsuit from getting filed.
The plaintiffs have also added five ways Google tries to deter users from sideloading applications from outside of the Play Store. It includes Google making developers and companies sign distribution agreements from mobile manufacturers, and include warnings that “grossly exaggerate the risk” of sideloading. Google has replied to the following in a blog post, but it failed to address a lot of the issues that have been brought up.