Speaker 1: Google just got slapped with yet another antitrust lawsuit. Here's how we got here and what it could mean for smartphone users.
Speaker 1: Recently attorneys general in 36 states, plus Washington DC filed a lawsuit against Google alleging the company's play store for Android apps violates antitrust laws. The lawsuit focuses on the 30% commission, Google charges, developers for selling digital [00:00:30] goods and services via the play store. We'll get to Google's response and how this could affect you as a consumer in a second. But we probably should look back at the past year for a little bit of, of context. About a year ago in July of 2020, epic games fired the first major shots in the war against 30% app store commissions. It switched on epic pay in its popular game, Fortnite, which offered users a payment option that circumvented Google's and Apple's commissions. Fortnite [00:01:00] was then pulled from both the Google play store and the iOS app store and epic games immediately slapped both companies with antitrust lawsuits claiming each company's payment restrictions, amounted to monopolies within each ecosystem.
Speaker 1: Both companies have since made changes to their commission structure, dropping app store fees to 15% for any develop developers who have made less than a million dollars. The epic V apple case has been a little higher profile and sort of different than [00:01:30] the epic V Google case because apple controls its app ecosystem more tightly than Google, but they are similar in many ways. Well, that's not the only antitrust lawsuit Google's dealing with, right, though. In fact, they're facing a good handful of antitrust suits, including the epic B Google suit. I just mentioned a us department of justice lawsuit that alleges Google unlawfully blocked out competitors by reaching deals with phone makers, to be the default search engine on devices. [00:02:00] An antitrust suit filed by 10 states like by Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton, accusing Google of engaging in false deceptive or misleading acts while operating its buy and sell auction system for digital ads.
Speaker 1: Another lawsuit filed by nearly 40 attorneys general the day after that digital ad one, alleging that the tech giants search results favored its owns services over those of more specialized rivals, which hurt the competition. And finally, the suit that [00:02:30] was just filed again by almost 40 attorneys general, while some of these trials aren't scheduled to be heard until 2023. So it's going to be a long while before the courts decide all of these cases. Google has referred to all of these lawsuits with terms like meritless and deeply flawed, but they are still facing the possibility of some serious penalties and or regulations. Once these trials are all over and done with, which brings me back to this current [00:03:00] case, it's very possible. Google will have to change its commission structure even more after this trial is decided, but there is an important hurdle. The plaintiffs will have to clear.
Speaker 1: Google has technically always allowed third party installation of apps. And in Android 12, it it's making attempts to streamline using third party app stores on compatible devices, which kind of undermines the argument. These state attorneys general are trying to make about [00:03:30] the Google play store using monopolistic power to squeeze additional profits from developers, competitors, and consumers in the end, Google will, could end up being forced to lower its commissions by the courts, or it could simply be forced to compete with the third party app stores. It's about to make easier to use when Android 12 launches later this year, either way that might be a big win for anyone looking for competitive in-app purchase prices and more app options, consumer, [00:04:00] I mean us, we benefit here. These are incredibly complicated issues with lots of nuance, more than I could ever cover in a single video. So if you'd like to learn more about Google's antitrust WOS, we've gone up to the minute coverage on cena.com. Thanks for watching. Be humans.