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Google Play Store Loot Box Class Action Dismissed By The Judge

California Judge Junks Class Action Alleging Google Of Profiting From Gambling Apps From Its Google Play Store 

A California federal judge has ruled in favor of Google in a class action lawsuit filed against the company for allegedly promoting gambling through the mobile gaming applications being offered in its Google Play Store platform. 

According to the decision by California District Judge Beth Freeman, the judge sitting on the so-called Google Play Store Loot Box Class Action, Google cannot be legally held liable for the games that are up on its application store platform, even though it is contested that these apps promote gambling towards younger audiences. 

Citing Google’s legal team’s arguments centering protections provided by the Communications Decency Act or CDA, Judge Freeman sided with Google stating that “Section 230 of the CDA protects certain internet-based actors from certain kinds of lawsuits” in their ruling. 

The judge also stated that since Google did not develop these allegedly devious apps and just merely hosting them on their Google Play Store platform, the company is effectively shielded from any legal ramifications from authorities.

The rationale behind the latest decision comes from the argument of Google that it is protected by the law. 

It presented a so-called “Three-Prong Test,” which already has legal precedent in the past in determining whether an Internet-based company or actor is to be held liable for certain actions over the web. 

In Judge Freeman’s decision in the Google Play Store Loot Box Class Action, it affirmed that Google was able to pass the “Three-Prong Test.” It reported that:

  • Google hosts an interactive digital platform service (Google Play Store);
  • Google is not responsible for the creation of the allegedly illegal mobile gaming applications;
  • And, the allegedly illegal mobile apps were not the only applications being offered by Google through its Google Play platform. 

The decision stemmed from a class action lawsuit filed against Google in mid-2020 alleging that the company had been unfairly making profits off games that offer “loot boxes” in its Google Play Store platform. 

These loot boxes being offered by several games is similar to a lottery wherein a player can avail one or two of these loot boxes in order to stack up and increase their chances of winning a random virtual item as a prize.

These loot boxes are available for anyone to download, including younger audiences.

Complainants alleged that these apps promoted gambling, and Google earns a cut on the earnings made from the selling of these loot boxes. 

It is far from over for Google, yet as the judge, in its decision, stated that the plaintiffs can refile their class action to the court after having revised it and included some amendments to its case. 

Editor’s Note on Google Play Store Loot Box Class Action:

This feature is published to inform you of the latest court decision affirming Google’s legal protection from claims that it profited off illegal applications in its Google Play Store platform.

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