DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is joining a lawsuit with dozens of other states, claiming Google’s app store unfairly edges out the competition.
Consumers use the Google Play Store to download apps for devices that use the Android operating system. Thirty-seven states in the lawsuit accuse Google of using its dominance to unfairly restrict competition with the app store, limiting choice, and driving up app prices.
“Millions of consumers rely on the Google Play Store to discover and download frequently used apps on their smart devices,” Miller said. “Through the use of restrictive contracts and agreements, Google has used this reliance to thwart competition and create a monopoly in app distribution. What’s more, Google has knowingly passed higher than average fees along to customers, often costing consumers hundreds if not thousands of dollars they wouldn’t have spent except for Google’s dominant market position.”
The complaint is the fourth major antitrust suit filed against Google by state and federal government agencies since last October.
It also comes as Congress is proposing laws aimed at breaking up or reducing the market power of Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.