INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) – Attorney General Todd Rokita announced that he has filed a multistate lawsuit against Google over monopolistic practices used by the digital giant to prevent competition and maintain unfair control over markets for Android app distribution and Android in-app payment processing.
“An investigation joined by 37 state attorneys general revealed that Google is abusing its market control in the digital economy through Google Play, an app store that comes pre-installed on nearly every Android device. Through contractual restraints, technical barriers and deception, Google inhibits competition by obstructing reasonable alternative means of downloading apps,” the Attorney General’s Office said.
Google requires in-app purchases to be made using its own payment processing services which charges a fee of 30%. The lawsuit says that this has foreclosed competition from alternative app distribution and payment methods.
“This is yet another example of a Big Tech company harming Hoosiers through unfair practices,” Attorney General Rokita said. “All businesses certainly have the right to seek strategic advantages and maximize their own profits, but in pursuing these goals they must also comply with antitrust laws and consumer protection statutes. Competition is an important part of our economy that protects consumers.”
The complaint alleges that Google has unlawfully restrained trade and maintained monopolies in the markets for Android app distribution and payment processing services for Android in-app digital purchases.
Google’s alleged unlawful conduct artificially limited the availability of alternatives that might place competitive pressure on Google to offer lower fees, enhance quality or innovate new features. Attorney General Rokita said consumers are ultimately harmed by these tactics.
Indiana is joined in this lawsuit by the attorneys general of Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
This lawsuit is just the latest action that Attorney General Rokita has taken to stop Big Tech companies’ heavy-handed and abusive conduct against Hoosiers.
In April, Attorney General Rokita said he launched an investigation into the censorship practices of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Twitter. That investigation is still ongoing.