Monday, October 2, 2023

Google has reached a preliminary agreement in the US Play Store litigation

Google on Tuesday reached a preliminary settlement in a class action lawsuit alleging that its US-based Play Store violated US federal antitrust rules by charging paying customers charged excessive fees, according to a court filing.

Details of the deal were not disclosed.

In the lawsuit, which was filed by more than 30 US states and represents 21 million consumers, plaintiffs allege that consumers would have spent less on apps and had more choices if it weren’t for Google’s alleged monopoly.

The parties to the settlement, which include attorneys for the Utah attorney general, who heads the group of states, have asked for the trial scheduled for Nov. 6 to be canceled.

Google, which has denied any wrongdoing, declined to comment on the proposed deal. Attorneys for the plaintiff consumers declined to comment on the proposed settlement, while attorneys for the plaintiffs, which include states and the District of Columbia, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The agreement requires court approval.

Google is facing similar lawsuits alleging that the company has made huge profits from its Play Store by using illegal tactics to maintain monopolies in selling Android apps and in-app products.

They argue that Google illegally coerced certain apps into using the company’s payment tools and gave Google up to 30% of digital product sales.

Tim Sweeney, the founder and CEO of Epic Games, said in a post on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that Epic Games, which has made such a claim, is not a party to the proposed settlement with Google Play is.

“If Google gives up its payments monopoly without imposing a tax on third-party transactions, we will come to terms and be friends with Google in its new age,” he said, adding that if the agreement leaves the “Google tax” in force the company will “fight on”.

Match Group (MTCH.O) also filed a lawsuit. A match spokesman declined to comment.

The case is described in the Google Play Store Antitrust Complaint, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 21-md-02981.

(Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru and Mike Scarcella; Reporting by Mohamed for The Arab Bulletin) Additional reporting by Kanjik Ghosh; Edited by Jamie Freed and Edwina Gibbs

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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