Sept. 6 (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) Google on Tuesday reached a preliminary settlement to a class action lawsuit alleging that its US-based Play Store violated US federal antitrust rules by charging customers excessive fees, according to a court filing.
Details of the settlement were not disclosed.
In the lawsuit, brought by more than 30 US states and representing 21 million consumers, the plaintiffs claimed that consumers might have spent less on apps and had more choices had it not been for Google’s alleged monopoly.
The parties to the settlement, which include attorneys for the attorney general of Utah, which leads the group of states, asked to cancel the trial, scheduled for November 6.
Google, which has denied any wrongdoing, declined to comment on the proposed settlement. Lawyers for the consumer plaintiffs declined to comment on the proposed settlement, while attorneys for the plaintiffs, which include states and the District of Columbia, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The settlement is subject to court approval.
Google faces similar lawsuits alleging that it made massive profit margins from its Play Store by engaging in illegal tactics to maintain monopolies in the sale of Android apps and in-app goods.
They argue that Google illegally forced certain apps to use the company’s payment tools and give Google up to 30% of sales of digital goods.
Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games, said in a post on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that Epic Games, which has made such a claim, is not a party to the proposed Google Play settlement.
“If Google ends its monopoly on payments without imposing a Google tax on third-party transactions, we will settle and we will be Google’s friends in their new era,” he said, adding that if the settlement leaves the “Google tax” in place, the company will “keep fighting.”
Match Group (MTCH.O) also filed a claim. A Match spokesperson declined to comment.
The case is described in the Google Play Store Antitrust Claim, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 21-md-02981.
(Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru and Mike Scarcella; Reporting by Mohamed for The Arabic Bulletin) Additional reporting by Kanjik Ghosh; Editing by Jamie Freed and Edwina Gibbs
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