A group of 36 states and Washington, D.C., sued Google on Wednesday in an antitrust case challenging the company’s control over its Android app store.
The suit, filed in California federal court and led by Utah, North Carolina, Tennessee, New York, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, and Nebraska, is the latest in a series of major antitrust cases filed against the tech industry’s biggest forces, after years of deep concerns about the growing wealth and power of Silicon Valley.
Nine days ago, a federal judge in Washington dismissed the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust suit against Facebook on the grounds that the agency hadn’t offered enough evidence that the world’s largest social network is a monopoly.
In addition to Wednesday’s suit, Google also faces a suit that the Justice Department and 14 states filed in October, focused on Google’s efforts to dominate the mobile search market; one from 38 states and territories filed in December, also focused on search; and a third suit by 15 states and territories related to Google’s power over the advertising technology.
In a blog post, Google dismissed the suit as “meritless,” saying the changes the plaintiffs demand for its Google Play store risk “raising costs for small developers, impeding their ability to innovate and compete, and making apps across the Android ecosystem less secure for consumers.”
“This lawsuit isn’t about helping the little guy or protecting consumers,” the company said. “It’s about boosting a handful of major app developers who want the benefits of Google Play without paying for it.”
The new case: Wednesday’s suit is the latest challenge to the search giant’s plan to force all app developers who use its Google Play Store to pay a 30 percent commission on sales of digital goods or services.
The suit is the first to challenge Google’s control in the mobile app store market.
The UK and Australia have opened up similar lawsuits.
Google’s Play Store is the default app store on Android phones, although users of those devices can also download apps from stores operated by companies like Amazon or Samsung — or even install them directly from other random sources.
This is bipartisan and Speaker Pelosi supports it.
Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Amazon, and others work together and they are like little nation-states. They are as powerful and rich as some. They are eliminating competition and swaying elections.