A US court ordered a lawsuit lodged against Google over allegations of illegally monopolising the app distribution market for Android devices could proceed as a class action case, covering more than 21 million consumers.
The ruling covered 17 states and territories under US jurisdiction, with qualifying parties those who paid for an app or made an in-app purchase through Google Play’s billing system from 16 August 2016 onwards.
Google is accused of various uncompetitive business practices related to the distribution of apps. This includes building and maintaining a monopoly for the service on Android devices.
Grievances raised include requiring device makers to “preload and prominently place” the app marketplace on handsets in return for a share of revenue, and “prohibiting developers who sell their apps through the Google Play Store from providing any apps that would allow consumers to download a competing app distribution store”.
It is claimed the dominant position gained by Google allows it to charge high rates of commission on apps bought through its channel and inflates the price for consumers.
Google has regularly denied accusations against it and contested the complaint being granted class action status.