According to an antitrust lawsuit filed by a coalition of three dozen state attorney general, Google used anticompetitive practices to “pre-emptively quash” Samsung’s Galaxy Store. Goggle’s motto was to prevent Samsung’s Galaxy Store in becoming a competitor to its Play Store. The lawsuit accuses Google of illegally controlling app distribution on Android. Further, the lawsuit claims Google has paid off app developers to stop them circumventing its store.
Note that these allegations challenge one of Google’s core policies, which is Android allows both competing app stores and side-loading apps directly. Google’s competitor, Apple does not have this policy. However, the new lawsuit is claiming that this openness is a façade because though customers technically have the choice, Google’s business practices have prevented a viable app store competitor from emerging. The suit says, “Google felt deeply threatened when Samsung began to revamp its own app store, the Samsung Galaxy Store.”
The suit has revealed a range of tactics Google used to prevent Samsung’s store from becoming a viable competitor. The lawsuit points out that Google used revenue share agreements with Android phone manufacturers that “outright prohibited” pre-installing some other app stores. It is “a direct attempt to pay Samsung to abandon relationships with top developers and scale back competition through the Samsung Galaxy Store.”
It is also claiming that Google worked with app developers to encourage them not to distribute their apps outside Play Store. In simple words, Google paid off good fees and imposed restrictions on the distribution of apps.
Soon after this suit was filed, Google’s senior director of public policy Wilson White called it in a blog post as “a meritless lawsuit that ignores Android’s openness.” He wrote “If you don’t find the app you’re looking for in Google Play, you can choose to download the app from a rival app store or directly from a developer’s website. We don’t impose the same restrictions as other mobile operating systems do.”
Last year, Epic Games made similar allegations against Google that Google attempts to quash rival app distribution methods in its lawsuit against Google.