Google has been sued by 36 US states and the Washington DC. The company is alleged to have abused its control over the Play Store. The lawsuit calls into question Google's 30% charge for all in-store purchases.
A year ago, Google clarified its policy regarding fees for in-app purchases, which was primarily a way to prevent a collection of successful titles from circumventing the existing rule. Google defends itself in a post on its product blog.
The company says users can download apps from competing app stores or directly from developers' websites. Google gives a nod to Apple through the line "we do not impose the same restrictions as other mobile operating systems".
Wilson White from Google writes that "it is strange that a group of public prosecutors choose to attack a system that offers more transparency and more choices than others". Apple is returning in White's defense speech and the approach seems to be "why us and not Apple?".
White believes that the atmosphere ignores the competition from Apple's "fantastically successful app store", which he says accounts for the majority of all revenue from mobile app stores. Google also claims that the lawsuit is not about helping small businesses or protecting consumers, but about raising "a handful of big app developers who want to enjoy the benefits of Google Play without paying for it".
Both Google and Apple have been scrutinized and blown away by the so-called "app tax" in their respective stores. Apple and Epic Games are currently in a major lawsuit over the fees.
"This complaint alleges that consumers and developers have no option other than to use Google Play. But that’s not correct. Choice has always been a core tenet of Android. Device makers and carriers can preload competing app stores alongside Google Play on their devices.
In fact, most Android devices ship with two or more app stores preloaded. And popular Android devices such as the Amazon Fire tablet come preloaded with a competitive app store and no Google Play Store."