State attorneys general said in a
Google was accused of paying
The company said the lawsuit “gets it wrong” by limiting the definition of the app marketplace to Android devices and ignoring that Google competes with Apple Inc. for developers and consumers.
“We don’t impose the same restrictions as other mobile operating systems do,” Wilson White, Google’s Senior Director of Public Policy, said in a blog post. “So it’s strange that a group of state attorneys general chose to file a lawsuit attacking a system that provides more openness and choice than others.”
New York is leading the case with Utah, North Carolina and Tennessee.
“Google has served as the gatekeeper of the internet for many years, but more recently, it has also become the gatekeeper of our digital devices --resulting in all of us paying more for the software we use every day,” New York Attorney General
The complaint, filed by 36 states and the District of Columbia, marks a new attack by government officials in the U.S. against the search engine’s business practices. The Justice Department and a group of states filed separate complaints over Google’s search business last year, while another state coalition sued over Google’s digital advertising business.
The states are taking on Google even after a federal judge in Washington last week
Alphabet fell 0.2% to $2,523.20 at 4:12 p.m. New York time in extended trading. The shares are up 44% this year, outperforming broader U.S. indexes. Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.
Google and Apple are a duopoly dominating the app economy of the Western world. The companies have come under intense pressure from regulators and some developers who complain that high app store fees and complex rules raise costs for consumers. A total of $143 billion was spent in mobile app stores in 2020, a 20% jump from the previous year, according to analytics firm App Annie.
Utah Attorney General
“Google’s monopoly is a menace to the marketplace,” Reyes said.
At a Senate
Epic sued Apple and Google in separate antitrust cases. The Apple case went to trial in May and is
Critics of the dominant tech platforms cheered news of the states’ case against Google.
“The massive price Google and Apple charge app users and developers is only possible because of the stranglehold these companies have over the way apps are delivered on mobile phones,” Alex Harman, competition policy advocate at Public Citizen, said in a statement. “This abuse needs to be stopped.”
But NetChoice, an organization that represents tech companies, including Google, lambasted the case, saying it threatens innovation. Consumers aren’t forced to use Android-powered devices, it said.
(Updates with Google blog post.)
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