Google has reached a tentative settlement with the attorneys general from 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico on one of three major antitrust lawsuits against the company for its anticompetitive conduct in the Google Play Store.
In July 2021, 37 attorneys general filed a lawsuit against Google alleging that the company used its monopoly power in the Android app market to inflate prices for paid apps and in-app purchases.
“No company is too big to play by the rules, including Google,” the attorneys general who led the lawsuit, from the states of New York, California, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah, said in a joint statement.
The states allege that Google harmed consumers by inflating prices for paid apps and in-app purchases in the Google Play Store.
Most consumers have no idea that for years Google has imposed unnecessary fees far beyond the market rates for in-app transactions, Attorney General Sean D. Reyes said when the lawsuit was announced. As a result, a typical American consumer may have paid hundreds if not thousands of dollars more than needed over many years.
Wednesday’s tentative agreement will be finalized over the next 30 days, and at that time, the details will be made public.
Google is being sued in another antitrust lawsuit, which is going to trial later in September. A group of states and the U.S. Justice Department are alleging how its search page is designed has harmed rivals companies such as Yelp and Expedia. During the Trump administration, the department also sued Google over its online search dominance.
In addition, the Biden administration in January sued Google on an antitrust issue, arguing its ad tech business needs to be broken up.