Google Maintains Monopoly on Android Mobile Apps Antitrust Class Action

The market for mobile apps has grown enormously, in particular with the stay-at-home orders to stop the spread of Covid-19. This class action brings suit against various Google entities, including Google, LLC, for maintaining an alleged monopoly on Android smartphones and other Android mobile devices via the Google Play Store. The complaint claims that it puts “anticompetitive restrictions … on app developers” and force consumers to pay higher prices for apps and in-app purchases than they otherwise would have with unrestricted competition.

The class for this action is all people in the US who bought an app or in-app item or service from the Google Play Store.

First, the complaint claims that Google dominates and controls the Android operating system (OS). This, the complaint says, includes its Android mobile devices, smartphones and tablets: “Android is the only commercially viable OS that is widely available to license; thus [original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)] have a single mobile OS option: Google’s Android OS. Accordingly, Google has monopoly power over the market for mobile OSs that are available for license by OEMs.”

Google has different rules for China, the complaint says, but restrictive ones for the rest of the world: “Outside of China, OEMS must all contractually consent that if their device licenses the Android OS, they will not sell devices preloaded with a competing, Android-compatible mobile OS.”

The result? The complaint says, “Google possesses monopoly power in the market for licensable smart mobile OSs through its Android OS.”

Second, the complaint alleges that Google has a monopoly on the app store market for Android: “The Play Store is part of Google Mobile Services, the bundle of Google apps and services Google licenses together.” Customers cannot download the Play Store; it must be pre-installed on devices.

Customers must download apps through the Play Store. Google does offer other Android-based app stores in its Play Store but none for non-Android-based OSs. Also, the complaint says, it charges other companies a high 30% commission on app prices and in-app purchases and imposes other anticompetitive restrictions on other device makers, app developers, and customers.

The European Commission, in a 2018 case, found that Google abused its position in the Android app store market] It fined the company more than four billion euros for breaking antitrust rules by placing improper restrictions makers of Android devices and operators of mobile networks to maintain its dominant position.

Third, the complaint alleges that Google extends its monopoly by requiring other app companies to use the Android In-App Payment Processing Market.

The counts include violations of the antitrust Sherman Act.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: News

Most Recent Case Event

Google Maintains Monopoly on Android Mobile Apps Antitrust Complaint

October 9, 2020

The market for mobile apps has grown enormously, in particular with the stay-at-home orders to stop the spread of Covid-19. This class action brings suit against various Google entities, including Google, LLC, for maintaining an alleged monopoly on Android smartphones and other Android mobile devices via the Google Play Store. The complaint claims that it puts “anticompetitive restrictions … on app developers” and force consumers to pay higher prices for apps and in-app purchases than they otherwise would have with unrestricted competition.

Google Maintains Monopoly on Android Mobile Apps Antitrust Complaint

Case Event History

Google Maintains Monopoly on Android Mobile Apps Antitrust Complaint

October 9, 2020

The market for mobile apps has grown enormously, in particular with the stay-at-home orders to stop the spread of Covid-19. This class action brings suit against various Google entities, including Google, LLC, for maintaining an alleged monopoly on Android smartphones and other Android mobile devices via the Google Play Store. The complaint claims that it puts “anticompetitive restrictions … on app developers” and force consumers to pay higher prices for apps and in-app purchases than they otherwise would have with unrestricted competition.

Google Maintains Monopoly on Android Mobile Apps Antitrust Complaint
Tags: Antitrust, Collusion and Price Fixing, Monopoly