San Francisco: Google used anti-competitive practices to quash Samsung Galaxy Store to halt its way to becoming a potential competitor to Google Play Store, a US lawsuit has alleged. The lawsuit filed by a coalition of 37 attorney generals also alleged that Google is forcing consumers to make in-app payments and making a hefty cut out of it.
It said that Google felt threatened when Samsung Galaxy refurbished its app store, and it felt that the latter's store should be "pre-emptively quashed".
The lawsuit alleged that Google used revenue share agreements with Android phone manufacturers that prohibited pre-installing other app stores. It also made attempts to pay Samsung to abandon relationships with top developers and scale back competition through the Samsung Galaxy store.
However, Google responded in an open blog post on Wednesday that the lawsuit ignores Android's openness and is meritless. It said that the complaint mimics the lawsuit filed by the prominent app developer Epic Games, which benefitted from Android's openness by distributing its Fortnite app outside of Google Play, and both the suits are meritless.
It said that Android and Google Play provide choices that other platforms don't. The lawsuit is not protecting consumers but boosting certain major app developers who want to use the benefits of Google Play but don't want to pay for it.
Google said that the app developers had earned over 80 billion dollars through Google Play until February 2020. The Android app economy, which includes Google Play, had helped create 2 million jobs in America.
In December last year, 35 states had filed a separate antitrust suit against Google, alleging illegal behaviour to maintain a monopoly on the search business. And in October same year, the US Justice Department and 11 states had filed another for antitrust violations. At that time, allegations against Google was that it weaponised its dominance in online search and advertising to kill off competition and harm consumers.