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 commission is 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.
This case is one of many instances of regulators and consumers taking steps to rein in Big Tech companies like Google and Apple over alleged anti-competitive practices. The European Union alone has fined Google more than 8 billion euros ($8.2 billion) in the past few years over anti-trust tactics.
The past few weeks have seen the company make a series of concessions to regulators, such as offering to break up its ad business, in hopes of fending off court action.
The suit comes one day after the filing of an American lawsuit that accuses Google rival Apple of violating antitrust laws by using its Apple Pay to illegally profit from payment card issuers, making $1 billion a year in fees.
That case, filed Monday (July 18) by Hagens Berman and Sperling & Slater, seeks to represent a class of credit unions and financial institutions in the U.S. that issue cards designed to be used in tandem with Apple Pay.
“In the Android ecosystem, where multiple digital wallets compete, there are no issuer fees whatsoever, ” read the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. “The upshot is that card issuers pay a reported $1 billion annually in fees on Apple Pay and $0 for accessing functionally identical Android wallets. If Apple faced competition, it could not sustain these substantial fees.”
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