Google Play Store
This case, brought on behalf of a class of app developers who distributed their apps on Google Play, alleges that Google has abused its market power to unlawfully create and maintain a monopoly in both app distribution for Android devices and in-app purchases on Android-based apps, engaging in anticompetitive conduct that harms app developers. Hausfeld has been appointed as interim co-lead class counsel for the proposed developer class.
In 2020, Hausfeld brought a pioneering suit on behalf of app developers who sold their apps through the Google Play Store or who sold digital products through apps distributed on the Google Play Store. Since that time, the case has been merged into a multidistrict litigation encompassing claims brought by the proposed app developer class, a proposed class of consumers who purchased apps through the Google Play Store or bought in-app products on apps downloaded from the Google Play Store, the Attorneys General of thirty-six states and the District of Columbia, and Epic, a competing app store operator and app developer. Through these complex proceedings, Hausfeld has continued to play a leading role as interim co-lead class counsel for the proposed developer class.
The plaintiffs allege that Google has forestalled rival app stores through agreements with smartphone manufacturers and cellular carriers to prevent other app stores from pre-installation, and by implementing technical barriers to prevent consumers from installing competing app stores. Google is also accused of unfairly tying its payment processing services to the use of its Play Store, precluding competition for competing payment processing services. On behalf of its clients, Hausfeld is seeking monetary and injunctive relief to change Google’s monopolizing conduct. The case is currently in discovery, and motions to dismiss are pending.
The multidistrict litigation is captioned In re Google Play Store Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 3:21-md-02981-JD, and is currently pending before the Honorable James Donato in the Northern District of California.