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States Sue Google Over App Store Practices

Google’s app store, Google Play, is the target of an antitrust lawsuit filed by dozens of states, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, was led by Utah. Then New York, California and other states signed on, although there was no copy of the suit available, per WSJ.

Google has been a frequent target for criticism due to its omnipresent status in its field, being the main gatekeeper for apps needing to get out to the public through smartphones with Android systems.

Google’s rules make apps use a Google payment system. The company also takes a 15 percent to 30 percent as a service fee on sales, according to WSJ.

Google has been mired in numerous antitrust cases and other such battles, focusing on its dominance in the fields in which it works, WSJ reported. For instance, there’s a Department of Justice (DOJ) antitrust suit slated to go to trial in 2023. Two other suits focus on the tech giant’s search business and advertising tech.

The European Commission has opened up an antitrust probe into Google, too, which will focus on the reported exclusion of advertisers from ad buys on YouTube, which Google owns, WSJ reported.

The U.K. also settled a case with Google over its digital advertising operations, according to WSJ. And the company’s case involving Epic Games, in which Epic alleged that Google has acted anticompetitively by pulling the company’s popular Fortnite game, is still in play.

Legislators have been looking more into anticompetitive issues in general, with U.S. House Judiciary Committee Republicans rolling out their new agenda to help cut back on Big Tech’s power. The agenda addresses speed, which is likely to have bipartisan support, along with accountability and transparency.

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