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US states sue Google for app store monopoly

AFP
Dozens of US states joined forces in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday accusing Google of abusing its power when it comes to getting apps for Android-powered mobile devices.
AFP

Dozens of US states joined forces in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday accusing Google of abusing its power when it comes to getting apps for Android-powered mobile devices.

The litigation aimed at the Play Store online shop for apps and other digital content for Android smartphones comes as the power of Big Tech firms is facing increasing pressure from regulators and lawsuits.

"We are filing this lawsuit to end Google's illegal monopoly power and finally give voice to millions of consumers and business owners," said New York attorney general Letitia James, a leader of the litigation.

"The company has ensured that hundreds of millions of Android users turn to Google, and only Google, for the millions of applications they may choose to download to their phones and tablets."

The lawsuit backed by 37 attorneys general accuses Google of using anti-competitive tactics to discourage Android apps from being distributed at shops other than its Play store, where its payment system collects commissions on transactions.

Google rejected accusations as meritless, detailing ways that the Play Store has helped app makers thrive while providing security for Android device users.

"Android and Google Play provide openness and choice that other platforms simply don't," Google senior director of public policy Wilson White said.

"The complaint is peppered with inflammatory language designed to distract from the fact that our rules on Android and Google Play benefit consumers."

The lawsuit contends Google has inserted itself as "the middleman" between developers and consumers.

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