Iowa joins nearly 40 states in lawsuit against Google, alleges unfair business practices

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has joined a coalition of 37 attorneys general to file a lawsuit against Google in California. The lawsuit alleges exclusionary conduct relating to the Google Play Store for Android mobile devices and Google Billing.According to the Attorney General’s Office, the antitrust lawsuit is the newest legal action against the tech giant, claiming illegal, anticompetitive, and unfair business practices. The states accuse Google of using its dominance to unfairly restrict competition with the Google Play Store, harming consumers by limiting choice and driving up app prices. “Millions of consumers rely on the Google Play Store to discover and download frequently used apps on their smart devices,” Miller said. “Through the use of restrictive contracts and agreements, Google has used this reliance to thwart competition and create a monopoly in-app distribution. What’s more, Google has knowingly passed higher than average fees along to customers, often costing consumers hundreds if not thousands of dollars they wouldn’t have spent except for Google’s dominant market position.” Miller said the case centers on Google’s exclusionary conduct, which substantially shuts out competing app distribution channels. Google also requires that app developers that offer their apps through the Google Play Store use Google Billing as a middleman. Miller said the arrangement, which ties a payment processing system to an app distribution channel, forces app consumers to pay Google’s commission — up to 30% — on in-app purchases of digital content made by consumers through apps that are distributed via Google Play Store. “This commission is much higher than the commission consumers would pay if they had the ability to choose a payment processing system of their choice. The lawsuit alleges that Google works to discourage or prevent competition, violating federal and state antitrust laws,” Miller said through a news release.The lawsuit is led by led by Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, New York Attorney General Letitia James, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III. Other states joining the lawsuit include Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, 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.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has joined a coalition of 37 attorneys general to file a lawsuit against Google in California. The lawsuit alleges exclusionary conduct relating to the Google Play Store for Android mobile devices and Google Billing.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, the antitrust lawsuit is the newest legal action against the tech giant, claiming illegal, anticompetitive, and unfair business practices. The states accuse Google of using its dominance to unfairly restrict competition with the Google Play Store, harming consumers by limiting choice and driving up app prices.

“Millions of consumers rely on the Google Play Store to discover and download frequently used apps on their smart devices,” Miller said. “Through the use of restrictive contracts and agreements, Google has used this reliance to thwart competition and create a monopoly in-app distribution. What’s more, Google has knowingly passed higher than average fees along to customers, often costing consumers hundreds if not thousands of dollars they wouldn’t have spent except for Google’s dominant market position.”

Miller said the case centers on Google’s exclusionary conduct, which substantially shuts out competing app distribution channels. Google also requires that app developers that offer their apps through the Google Play Store use Google Billing as a middleman.

Miller said the arrangement, which ties a payment processing system to an app distribution channel, forces app consumers to pay Google’s commission — up to 30% — on in-app purchases of digital content made by consumers through apps that are distributed via Google Play Store.

“This commission is much higher than the commission consumers would pay if they had the ability to choose a payment processing system of their choice. The lawsuit alleges that Google works to discourage or prevent competition, violating federal and state antitrust laws,” Miller said through a news release.

The lawsuit is led by led by Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, New York Attorney General Letitia James, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III. Other states joining the lawsuit include Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, 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.