Google might be facing yet another court battle over its business practices anytime soon. Bloomberg sources has disclosed that “dozens” of states are close to filing a lawsuit accusing Google of abusing its control of the Play Store.
The lawsuit reportedly has to do with the fees Google collects from Android developers for both apps and in-app subscriptions.
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It could be recalled that the company is already in a battle with antitrust action over its dominance of web searches and online advertising. If a lawsuit by any chance moves forward, it would surely add a significant legal pressure to Google.
After facing accusations that it charge excess fees such as the 30% cut it normally takes for purchases, the internet giant recently echoed Apple by cutting its share of app purchases to 15% for the first $1 million in revenue over the course of a year, theoretically helping small developers without hurting the bottom line. The move only started from July 1, however, and might not help Google avoid a lawsuit from states that may have been prepping cases for months.
A lawsuit against Google would at least make some developers happy. Fortnite creator Epic Games sued Google in August 2020 for supposedly violating US antitrust law by forcing app makers to use the Play Store’s payment system in many cases. Should the states press ahead, they could force Google to loosen its grip and allow those third-party payments. A court victory could also push Google to minimize its cut for all developers, including majors like Epic.