Attorneys general for 36 US states and DC filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Google, alleging that Google violated antitrust laws.
The lawsuit claims that Google has used monopolizing techniques to dominate one of the two major app markets with their Google Play Store, making it difficult for customers to use any other app platform. Techniques in concern include paying Android device manufacturers to not create independent app stores, imposing restrictions on customers that make the Google Play Store app impossible to delete, and blocking users from directly installing apps from competing markets.
These practices are making it increasingly difficult for other companies to compete with Google Play and as a result, have deterred from “healthy competition” between app markets, according to the attorneys general.
The antitrust case follows a series of lawsuits, including one from October 2020 where Google was sued by 38 states for anti-competitive practices in search ads. However, the case also comes nine days after US District Judge for the DC Circuit James Boasberg dismissed the antitrust case against Facebook, brought by the FTC, on the grounds of insufficient evidence that the platform was a monopoly.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson stated that the lawsuit is intended to “hold Google accountable and fight to stop these unfair and illegal practices.” The tech giant has since responded to the suit in a blog post, calling the claims “meritless.”