As per the recent news, a group of 36 states filed an antitrust lawsuit against the Android maker, Google. Now, the company is getting grilled for its monopoly on the Google Play Store, which claims that this U.S. tech giant is keeping other developers out of competition in the application market.
It’s surely a kind of biggest and latest story, where the software market-dominant like Google is crushing over small developers with its tricky policies for submitting their work on Google Play Store.
Antitrust Lawsuit: anti-competitive manners of Google
The Assistant Attorney General at Utah, Western United States files the antitrust lawsuit to challenge Google in the California central court. The plaintiff namely includes the following main provinces, who are leading the case at the moment.
- Washington, DC
- North Carolina
- New York
The plaintiff accused Google to seek 30% commission sale revenue from the developer who wants to list their app on the Google Play Store via a new policy. Furthermore, it’s reported that Google plans to apply this new policy in September 2021, also forcing the developers to use solely Google Payment System for any transaction being made on Play Store.
The lawsuit claims, Google’s 90% market share in the Android app market was made possible by its deal with smartphone makers, which agrees to put Google services as default for the consumers.
The company didn’t plan to stop here, it also spent billions of dollars from its annual advertising revenue to spend on smartphone manufacturers, network carriers, and browsers to make Google their default search engine.
Keeping other developers out of competition:
Google Play Store is the most popular app distribution platform that comes pre-installed with Android smartphones and allows users to install the apps and games.
Adding to this, it offers two-way downloads- directly from the app store and directly from other sources such as random websites and third-party stores like Amazon AppStore or Samsung Galaxy Store.
It’s mandatory for the developers to use Google’s online transaction methods to include any in-app purchase in their app on Play Store. It might help Google to keep a track of transaction records of digital goods.
Furthermore, Google has some tactics under its sleeves such as Google Play Store doesn’t offer other app store installations via its Play Store.
Moreover, no third-party promoter can advertise on its search engine and YouTube to display its work. This all makes it difficult for the developer to deepen their roots and Google is successfully keeping other developers out of the competition.
Google’s Respond to the situation:
Wilson White, Senior Director of Public Policy at Google, explains that Android offers many options for developers, smartphone manufactures, and users as well. We have more choice than any other mobile ecosystem, as we created Android for this purpose only so anyone can modify the system and use it according to their will.
Users can find any application on Play Store, and if you don’t want to download it from our store you have the option to download it from any store or even sideload them as you like.
As Android smartphones always come in shipped with two or more app distribution platforms other than Google Play Store, says White.
Elaborating further, he says that Google doesn’t put unspecified constraints on our clients as other providers indicating Apple. We have the most feasible system in the software market, after all this, it’s strange to sue Google for a sum of money, which we used in maintaining the Play Store and providing better services.
As for the developers, Google doesn’t force them to publish their app on Google Play, if they aren’t satisfied with our policies, they can select other platforms.
At last, white pointed out that this lawsuit isn’t about helping the little guy or protecting consumers instead it’s supporting a handful of major app developers who want the benefits of Google Play without paying for it.
Who is getting harmed by Google action:
However, there is a big list of the firms and service providers who are getting harmed by Google’s actions such as the app distribution platform Samsung Galaxy Store and other application providers like Epic, Spotify, Match, Netflix, etc, as well as the application developers.
Starting with the Galaxy Store, Google is reportedly paying the app developers to prevent them from enlisting their apps on Galaxy Store and Amazon AppStore. This action is directly harming such third-party Android app stores from making growth.
Furthermore, Epic Games also blamed Google to force the smartphone company OnePlus to prevent pre-installing a special Fortnite launcher and LG to prevent pre-install the Epic games on their device.
Similarly, many developers who just started their career and want to use the Google Play Store to publish their apps will have to pay a big amount of their sales revenue. It’ll create problems to make names in the field with the tactics of Google.
At present Google surely hold a strong position in the software market. Furthermore, all defenses explained by the public policy director are true like Android is the most feasible system and Google isn’t forcing the developers to put their work on Google Play Store.
However, we also can’t deny the fact that Google is playing tricks and using unfair means to maintain its position. The company isn’t giving any chance to the developers and other service providers to establish themselves.