36 U.S. states sue Alphabet for ‘unlawfully’ maintaining Google Play Store monopoly on Android phones

Thirty-six U.S. state and District of Columbia attorneys general sued Alphabet Inc‘s Google subsidiary on Wednesday, alleging that it bought off competitors and used restrictive contracts to unlawfully maintain a monopoly for its Google Play Store on Android phones.

36 U.S. states sue Alphabet for unlawfully maintaining Google Play Store monopoly on Android phones. Image: Google logo

The full complaint is here.

Diane Bartz, Paresh Dave, and Karen Freifeld for Reuters:

The allegations about Google’s Play Store stem from an investigation involving nearly every U.S. state that began in September 2019 and have already resulted in three other lawsuits against the company.

The states, led by Utah, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee, argue that Google has generated “enormous profit margins” from the Play Store by engaging in illegal tactics to preserve monopolies in selling Android apps and in-app goods.

In the United States, Google Play accounts for 90% of Android apps downloaded, according to the lawsuit.

“Google leverages its monopoly power with Android to unlawfully maintain its monopoly in the Android app distribution market,” the lawsuit stated… The states alleged that Google bought off developers so they would not support competing app stores, and that through numerous secret projects it intended to pay Samsung Electronics Co., whose rival app store posed the biggest threat, to stop competing.

MacDailyNews Take: Google and Samsung et al. involved in some shady backroom deals? Shocking.

Yes, Virginia, thieves steal.

Google Android before and after Apple's iPhone

cellphones before and after Apple iPhone


  1. What is wrong for Google is wrong for Apple too.

    Why does the full Civilization VI cost more than a hundred dollars on the Apple store, when I can get it with the same extras for $60 on Steam? The problem with a monopoly isn’t market share. It is the ability to block buyers from buying from legitimate sellers.

    1. “Whats wrong for Google is wrong for Apple” …Not really…. the difference between Android and iOS in the monopoly realm is market share.. Android/Google 76% —- iOS 23%!

  2. I hope they put Google through the ropes, just for completeness. Point remains that there are scores of stores for Android, and you can even sideload.

    If however they claim Google Play has an unfair position or advantage on the device. Make them hurt.

    But Apple is truly worse on an App monopoly if Android gets spanked.

    1. Apple is BEST you can download any App you want GURANTEED OF SECURITY and PERFORMANCE while free of malicious malware that can take down your iPhone. Obviously you don’t own iPhones and appreciate the level of security. You must be an Android settler who throws caution to the wind loading anything from anywhere the Wild Wild West of the internet. Well, good luck with that. I’ll stick with the greatest REVOLUTIONARY smartphone in history, secure and it just WORKS…

            1. You are anything but an “apologist.” Thanks for confirming you are NOT an iPhone owner as I suspected. Your prolonged criticism of the iPhone business model is now crystal understood.

              Hey, different strokes for different folks.

              But more importantly, if you continue to campaign for pioneer Apple to operate like Android fragmadroid, my friend, go pound sand.

              Bottom Line: Waste your time all you want on posts, unless forced by the courts a travesty of justice — not going to happen — not now, not ever!…

  3. Monopolies are not illegal. Using your monopoly position to enforce anti-competitive practices such as restrictive contracts (e.g. you can’t develop for any other store or platform) or manipulating the market are the crux of the lawsuit.

    To the best of our knowledge, Apple has done no such thing and it does have ample evidence that its business model of a wall-garden is essential to maintaining a unique feature of its offering (I.e. security).

      1. Your knowledge is terribly limited, which is no surprise. Applecynic, you are the COVID-emeritus of MDN, a virulent fool who pretends to be virtuous but who is an eeeeeedjiot.

      2. Yes, Apple bans conservative software and Big Tech overall bans anything that mildly offends the woke snowflakes. I sense you support this unbalanced ruthless censorship for political gain.

        No comment on Apple banning software in China at the slightest bequest of their CCP masters?

        Banning competition stores is NOT ACCURATE. Apple has its own store and a historical pioneer in Apps and the absolute GOLD STANDARD.

        Obviously you are not a businessman or know the world of commerce and your disdain for capitalism is known.

        No ban of competitive stores exists on Apple’s part and irresponsible to post. They already exist and best of luck for their success…

        1. No comments on Apple obeying US laws at the slightest behest of its masters in Congress who pass the laws and its masters in the Executive Branch who enforce them?

          1. What laws? Banning Parlor I suspect is protected by Section 230 the worst law ever written granting legal protections and immunity to a select few Tech companies. Outrageous and must be REPEALED.

            The only Apple “master in Congress” is Pelosi and Cook recently made a private call crying for no regulation.

            The reckoning is coming…

            1. “What laws?” Any of the laws. Since you don’t think that Apple employees in China should be expected to follow Chinese law, why do you think that Apple employees in America should be bound by US laws? If it is wrong for Apple to obey laws in China with which it disagrees, it must also be wrong for Apple to obey laws here with which it disagrees. Perhaps they could stop paying taxes they see as unfair or stop complying with the labor and environmental protection laws.

              You don’t want Apple to engage in civil disobedience in China (which would involve the willingness to pay the legal penalties for committing crimes against an unjust law), but to simply assert the right to commit crimes without suffering any consequences. That would not fly in America and it is never going to fly in China.

            2. TxUsesfelIdiot. You don’t address my specific questions and you expect me to answer yours and on top of it put words in my mouth??? 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

              Stuff it where the sun don’t shine, pal…

            1. As a proud NRA member, you surely are aware of the Boot Camp cadence… “This is my rifle, there are many like it but this one is mine.”

              At best they are “Individual”.

              There’s nothing “Personal” about iOS, that demands user control, not the Apple IT department permission.

        2. I criticize Apple for making bans even possible with their policies. And yes, the Courts will likely force Apple to allow sideloading and prevent them from blocking competition on other people’s property with other people’s Apps.

          1. Bans is inaccurate. Apple protects the walled garden according to terms of service equally applied.

            If you think Apple is going to throw caution to the wind allowing anything in the fragmadroid world to enter the garden, think again.

            That said, yes the courts may decide otherwise and we shall see Apple deal with it.

            Funny, not once have I read you oppose Big Tech et al. banning President Trump’s freedom of speech.

            Gee, what a selective outrage surprise…😎

            1. They are exercising unjust authority over others property. It’s not theirs to manage. Keys to the garden please, keep what’s inside to yourself.

            2. “They are exercising unjust authority over others property.”

              AC, so you are saying Apple’s terms of service you agree to or not when you first turn on the phone are unjust? Count me in with millions that disagree.

              You keep going back to the “get off my lawn” property owning argument. Big difference and you are consistently clueless to see the it, sorry friend.

              Yes, you own the iPhone but you don’t own the software. Every upgrade you agree to terms of service or get lost.

              So what is your specific problem Android settler?…

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