Google faces billion-dollar UK lawsuit over App Store pricing

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Reuters

July 20, 2022, 9:40 a.m.

Last modification: July 20, 2022, 09:51

Google’s logo is seen in Davos, Switzerland January 20, 2020. Picture taken January 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters

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Google’s logo is seen in Davos, Switzerland January 20, 2020. Picture taken January 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters

Google faces a lawsuit in London seeking damages estimated at 920 million pounds ($1.1 billion) after a court cleared a lawsuit alleging the Alphabet-owned tech giant overcharged 19.5 million customers for App Store purchases.

The class action lawsuit, which was certified by the Competition Appeal Tribunal on Monday, alleges that Google abused its dominant position by charging up to 30% commission on popular apps in its Play Store, including Roblox, Candy Crush Saga and Tinder since October 2015.

A detailed judgment has yet to be released, a spokesperson for the plaintiff group said on Tuesday.

Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Regulators, rivals and consumer champions are trying to rein in Big Tech, filing lawsuits around the world against Google and rival Apple for alleged anti-competitive behavior. The European Union alone has fined Google more than 8 billion euros ($8.2 billion) in recent years for antitrust practices.

The latest UK case against Google, which is not expected to go to trial until 2024, is brought by Liz Coll, a former digital policy officer at the non-profit service Citizens Advice. She is advised by the law firm Hausfeld.

Coll alleges in the lawsuit that the Play Store commission is unlawful and unjustifiable, breaching EU and UK competition laws, and that Google is abusing its dominant position to the detriment of UK users of Android smartphones and tablets.

Google generated $11.2 billion in revenue from its mobile app store in 2019, according to an unsealed court filing last year.

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