As expected, Google is facing a fresh legal assault regarding its Play Store, the 30 per cent cut it took from developers’ revenues via the software souk, and other rules and restrictions.
In an antitrust lawsuit [PDF] filed in a federal district court in San Francisco on Wednesday, 36 US states and commonwealths, plus Washington DC, alleged Google ran roughshod over the Sherman Act, screwing over users and software makers by abusing its monopoly on Android and the distribution of apps.
Those states include New York, California, Florida, Washington, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Arizona, though not Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, nor Illinois, among others. There doesn’t appear to be an obvious partisan split.
The complaint is wide-ranging and extensive, from criticizing Google’s commission from app and in-app purchases and that it must handle payments, to undue pressure on phone makers, to a ban on advertising by non-Play stores on Google’s web properties, like YouTube, and more.
In March, Google dropped its cut of app sales from 30 to 15 per cent for the first $1m a developer makes. The move mirrored a similar decision by Apple last year, matching the same terms almost exactly. This was not enough, it seems, to hold off attorneys general.