Dozens of state attorneys general have jointly filed a lawsuit in federal court in California, specifically targeting the 30% cut Google is taking for paid apps, subscriptions and in-app purchases. These fees are the same as Apple’s, and have been since the start of the smartphone era. It should be noted that the lawsuit is a case of bipartisan involvement between justice officials, a rare occurrence in the bitterly divided American political climate. Participating states include California, New York, Utah, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa and Nebraska, according to Politico.
A calculation for the current duopoly has been on the horizon since Epic, publisher of the phenomenally popular and cross-platform game Fortnite, intentionally tricked Google and Apple into launching their platforms by bypassing the fees for purchasing game currency. an immediate lawsuit against the two companies, which is still ongoing and gives rise to some very interesting news as a result of the discovery process. The same federal judge who presides over the Epic lawsuits, James Donato, will oversee the new multi-state lawsuit.
Both companies have tried to ease the situation with very targeted reductions in those fees, and Google is going one step further by more fully embracing third-party app stores from Android 12 later this year. But it seems these attempts have fallen on deaf ears in state justice departments. Google is also facing an ongoing federal antitrust lawsuit over its search and advertising practices.
Crédit image: Sora Shimazaki