The attorneys general of 37 states filed one complaint against Google for violation of antitrust law. The Mountain View company allegedly abused its monopoly in the Android app distribution market, forcing developers to use its in-app payment system and then pay a 30% commission. Google has declared that the allegations are false.
Fourth antitrust investigation against Google
This is the fourth antitrust complaint against Google presented in the United States, after that of October and the due of December 2020 relating to the alleged monopoly in the fields of research and online advertising.
In this case, the 37 attorneys general accuse Google of hindering competition by monopolizing the Android app distribution and forcing developers to use its platform for i in-app payments. The Mountain View company has extended the payment of the commission to a greater number of digital goods, but has reduced the percentage to 15% on the first million dollars earned annually by developers.
Casually the case will be examined by Judge James Donato, the same who will deal with the complaint filed against Google by Epic Games (the trial will begin in April 2022) for the same reasons. However, it seems unlikely that the judge will issue a favorable sentence to the attorneys general.
As Google points out in the post published on the official blog, Android doesn’t stand in the way of competition and the choice of users, as the apps can be distributed directly by the developers on their sites or through third-party stores (installation by sideloading is also possible). This also avoids paying the commission. All alternatives not available on iOS instead.