What You Need To Know About The Google Antitrust Lawsuit
Are you overwhelmed with the latest antitrust lawsuit news Google is facing? Well, you’re not alone. But fear not! Consider The Consumer has prepared this easy-to-follow rundown that you can use as a reference to keep yourself in the know.
The antitrust case aims to seek Google LLC accountable for its alleged violation of a variety of federal and state-level antitrust legislation.
Google LLC, along with Google Ireland Limited, Google Commerce Limited, Google Asia Pacific Pte. Limited, and Google Payment Corp., are listed as the defendants in a lawsuit filed in August this year. The suit alleges that Google et al. committed acts that violated different existing laws such as the different portions of the Sherman Act, which is a federal law. Meanwhile, the company has also transgressed parts of the State of California’s Cartwright Act, as well as several state laws from but not limited to the states of Maryland, Maine, Kansas, Iowa, Hawaii, and District of Columbia.
It is an antitrust lawsuit that is filed in the United States (U.S.) District Court Northern District of California.
The case is filed by plaintiff Mary Carr from the state of Illinois. It is a class action lawsuit which seeks to cover Carr and all persons in the US who paid for an app on Google Play, subscribed to an app downloaded on Google Play, or those who made an in-app digital content on a mobile app that was downloaded on Google Play. Carr demands a jury to decide the case.
Google allegedly gave developers and makers of an application a hard time whenever they want to choose to upload their apps in another platform besides Google Play, the company’s official app store platform.
Supposedly, companies and even independent programmers and individuals are given the freedom to choose how they can publish their mobile apps. However, if one does opt not to do it with Google’s Play Store, the pre-installed app store platform that most Android devices use.
The suit claims that Google imposed different “contractual and technological barriers” that gave app makers a hard time to say no to using the services offered by the tech giant.
This is done in a variety of ways, the suit adds. Primarily, when Google require makers of mobile devices who wish to use the open-source operating system of Android to have different Google services pre-installed and have them prominently displayed in their devices to be allowed of the continued use of its services results to the effective foreclosure of competing app stores, including individual apps, from a primary distribution channel.
The aforementioned services and applications that usually come preinstalled to devices running on Android include but not limited to Youtube, Google Mail (GMail), and you guessed it, Google’s Play Store!
Also, Google laid down a condition allowing for app developers to make use of the company’s different advertising channels like Youtube if they opt to upload their apps on Google’s Play Store. They are even taxed at an exorbitant rate which is very high compared to those of other electronic payments (e-payment) transactions. Google also forces app developers to use its Google Play Billing Service as a tie up for apps who offer in-app purchases. Developers even receive the payment last for Google id the one who receives the payment first when a user makes an in-app purchase.
The company is also allegedly not keen to those mobile users who choose to download apps outside Google’s Play Store.
Another thing the suit adds is that Google makes it hard for users whenever they download apps that are not published in the Play Store. In an allegation of the suit cited by Rizzi, the company requires a user to undergo through several steps whenever they are installing an app from the developer’s official website or from a different app store beside from the Play Store.
Not only that, users are also not provided with the usual services that come with apps downloaded from the Google Play Store such as automatic background updates.
Editor’s note on Things You Need To Know About The Google Antitrust Lawsuit:
This piece was crafted to keep you in the know and inform you of the nitty-gritty on the latest class action lawsuit being faced by the tech giant Google.
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Similarly, please check out our current list of Class Actions and Class Action Investigations, here.
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