The latest Google antitrust lawsuit targets the Play Store

Google Play Store
Google Play Store (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is being sued by more U.S. states over antitrust concerns.
  • The focus of this suit is the Google Play Store.
  • It's expected to be filed by March at the latest, but it could come as early as February.

Google is facing another antitrust lawsuit regarding the Play Store, Reuters reported on Friday. It's set to be filed by March, with the main complaints revolving around the company's management of the Play Store. No other specifics about the case were detailed, though the controversial 30% developer fee may be a focus. It's not a federal case, but one brought by the attorneys general of Utah, North Carolina, and New York State. Other states could join in the future, Reuters notes.

As in other cases and complaints regarding the Play Store, Google's defense remains the same. Android is an open platform, and developers are not required to use the Google Play Store to develop apps. Developers may make their apps available on their own websites, or they may use third-party stores like Samsung's Galaxy Store. This argument doesn't hold up all the time, as India noted that Google Play Store was functionally the only relevant app store in their market.

However, speaking to Reuters, Sameer Samat, vice president of Android and Google Play repeated the sentiment:

Most Android devices ship with at least two app stores preinstalled, and consumers are able to install additional app stores. This openness means that even if a developer and Google do not agree on business terms the developer can still distribute on the Android platform.

Google is currently the subject of multiple U.S. antitrust suits, including a massive one filed by the U.S. Justice Department in October. This would be the fourth one coming after a December lawsuit that primarily took aim at the company's ads business.

Michael Allison