In October, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a suit targeting Google’s outsized power in mobile search. December saw 15 states and territories file suit against Google’s advertising business, while a second action backed by 38 states and territories again took issue with the firm’s search engine. Today’s antitrust suit deals with Google’s Play Store fee sharing structure, which currently demands developers pay a 30% commission on sales of digital goods and services. The company recently adopted a fee schedule that drops the rate down to 15% for the first $1 million app makers earn in a year.
For its part, Google in a Senate hearing in April said its fee structure is in line with industry standards. Further, revenue from Play Store commissions goes toward developer tools and Android updates. Apple has made identical claims in the past as part of its many legal battles over App Store management. Unlike users of Apple’s iOS, however, Android device owners have the option of purchasing apps from other app stores or sideloading software directly from the web. Keep up with everything Apple in the weekly AppleInsider Podcast — and get a fast news update from AppleInsider Daily. Just say, “Hey, Siri,” to your HomePod mini and ask for these podcasts, and our latest HomeKit Insider episode too.
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AppleInsider is funded by its audience and may make money from qualifying sales as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner. Our editorial content is unaffected by these affiliate relationships. Attorneys general from 36 states and the District of Columbia joined forces on Wednesday to sue Google for antitrust violations related to the way the Play Store is run. n According to Politico, the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in California, is being spearheaded by Utah, North Carolina, Tennessee, New York, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, and Nebraska. It is the most recent in a series of antitrust lawsuits brought against the dominant search engine, which included three related proceedings in 2020.
Google’s reduced commissions came after the company said it will more strictly enforce a policy that requires developers to use its billing system for purchases made through the Play Store. The announcement sparked intense pushback from the likes of Netflix, Spotify and Match Group, which have avoided Google’s commissions. That change is set to go into effect in September.