EMEA Daily: Google Prepares for Digital Markets Act, Faces $1B Suit in UK Over App Store Practices

Google Play

In today’s top news from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Google is facing a lawsuit over allegations that the Big Tech firm overcharged its customers, while FinTech Wise reports higher revenues as more people utilize their remittance services.

Google Faces $1B Suit in UK Over App Store Practices

Google is facing trial in a $1.1 billion class-action lawsuit in the U.K. over claims that the company overcharged 19.5 million customers for app store purchases.

As Reuters reported Tuesday (July 19), the suit alleged Google abused its position by charging users commissions of up to 30% on apps such as Candy Crush and Tinder.

The suit, which is not expected to go to court before 2024, was brought by Liz Coll, a former digital policy manager at the non-profit group Citizens Advice. She alleged the Play Store commissions are unlawful and in violation of British and European competition laws, and that Google had exploited its dominant position at the cost of U.K. Android users.

Wise’s Revenues Rise as Customers Up Money Transfers

British FinTech Wise saw its revenues increase 50% in the last quarter, the Financial Times reported Tuesday (July 19).

The volume of money transferred by the company rose to 24.4 billion pounds ($29.3 billion) in the three-month period ending June 30, versus 16.4 billion pounds ($19.7 billion) in the same period last year. Revenues rose about 50% year over year to 186 million pounds ($223.4 million).

CFO Matt Briers noted that rising inflation and fears of future currency volatility had caused users to move higher volumes of money in the past months, with these volumes exceeding transfers from the same period in the previous year.

Made.com Lowers Guidance for Second Time This Year as Big-Ticket Sales Stall

Home furnishings retailer Made.com on Tuesday forecast a decline of 15% to 30% in gross sales this year, sending its stock price plummeting and signaling the era of big-ticket furniture purchases is over while a likely economic recession looms.

Made shares fell as much as 41%, putting them at their lowest level since the company launched its initial public offering last year, the report said. The company was one of the big winners during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as people improved the homes while they couldn’t leave them.

Google Play Prepares for Digital Markets Act by Allowing Alternative Billing Systems

On Tuesday, Google commented on the passing of the Digital Markets Act, which will require Google Play and other industry players to adjust their current operating model for users in the European Economic Area (EEA).

In a blog post, the company stated that as part of their efforts to comply with the new rules, they were announcing a new program to support billing alternatives for EEA users. This will mean developers of non-gaming apps can offer their users in the EEA an alternative to Google Play’s billing system when they are paying for digital content and services.

PropTech Startup Casavo Raises $409M

PropTech startup Casavo has just bagged 400 million euros ($409.2 million) in Series D funding, EU Startups reported today. Of that total, 300 million euros ($306.9 million) was led by Intesa Sanpaolo and Viola Credit, while Exor added an additional 100 million euros ($102.3 million).

The startup has gained traction in its native Italy as well as Spain, and expanded to Portugal this year. It will use the new capital to grow into France.

Founded by Giorgio Tinacci in 2017, Casavo is a digital property platform that offers free appraisals to sellers, generates a quick offer, buys the property and then renovates it to sell at a profit. It uses a dynamic pricing model to evaluate the financial potential of each home, calculating what the value will be post-refurbishment based on data it has on similar properties.

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