An antitrust lawsuit filed against Google and the Play Store by several state attorneys repeated the battle for Epic vs. Apple, and a new document highlights how and why Google’s app store is so similar. MLex Senior correspondent Michael Acton points out the new complaint, which arrived Friday night from lawyers appointed to represent consumers (it’s us) in a potential class action lawsuit joining the states and the Epic Games, accusing Google of abusing its monopoly power and against competitive behavior.
Perhaps most telling is a mention that popular subscription services such as Spotify, Netflix and Tinder have tried to find ways around Google Play Billing and that 30 percent cut. This is no secret, as the direct collection of credit card information from Netflix and Spotify reportedly resulted in Google posting a “clarification” explaining that Play Store apps must use Google’s billing system and give them a year to change. In this case, lawyers are accusing Google of offering Netflix a “significantly reduced revenue share” with the apparent intention of destroying the desire to use an alternative payment system.
Although we have not seen the details or timing of this supposed track or, it is a direct reflection of things we learned during the Epic vs Apple trial, where Apple emails show that it offered a number of sweeteners to keep Netflix on its in-app purchasing system.
In another statement The Verge“All developers are subject to the same guidelines as all other developers, including payment policies. We’ve long had programs in place to support developers with improved resources and investments. These programs are a sign of healthy competition between operating systems and app stores.” and benefits for developers. ”Whether this is a sign of healthy competition is debatable, as Google’s efforts are largely in line with Apple’s, including cutting the subscription commission by half after a year, although offering developers a further reduction of 15 percent on their first $ 1 million in income.
Google’s standard percentage of 30 percent remains an important target, as the suit cites internal Google numbers that suggest the break-even level for revenue sharing is actually about six percent. The complaint cites Google’s internal communications, which admit to setting “arbitrary fees” at 30 percent.[n]a reason, other than to copy Apple. “And when it comes to competition, lawyers quote Google estimates that even a major player like Samsung could only manage $ 100 million in revenue for 2019, while Google raised around $ 4 billion.
3 – #Google calculated can break with 6 percent commission fee in the Play Store – compared to 30 percent
– Michael Acton (@ MActon93) August 27, 2021
Google’s response to State AG’s in June said that the Play Store “provides more transparency and choice than others”, and that on Android “you can choose to download the app from a competing app store or directly from a developer’s website.” However, this application also pits holes in that argument, pointing out that Google’s OEM agreements with phone makers interfere with making other app stores as easily accessible as the Play Store, which they must include on a device’s home screen to pre-install downloaded Google apps like Gmail and Google Maps.
In a timely manner, it cites the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement, which prohibits developers from using information about customers they receive from the Play Store, such as email addresses, to reach them directly. You can read the relevant section below.
4.9 You will not engage in any activity with Google Play, including making your products available through Google Play, which disrupts, disrupts, damages or unauthorized access to your devices, servers, networks or other third party properties or services. party, including, but not limited to, Google or an authorized vendor. You may not use user information obtained through Google Play to sell or distribute products outside of Google Play.
This makes it “impossible for developers to reach customers directly to offer alternatives to the Google Play Store”, according to the suit. Allowing developers to use information from the App Store to contact customers via email, including information about alternative payment options, is one of the small admissions Apple made in its proposed group agreement earlier this week, although companies such as Spotify and Epic say it does not goes almost far enough.