SALT LAKE CITY – Today, Attorney General Sean D. Reyes announced that a bipartisan group of 52 states and territories reached an agreement with Google. The agreement arose out of a lawsuit over the company’s anticompetitive conduct involving the Google Play Store. General Reyes issued the following statement:
This is a tremendous win for consumers, app developers, and the marketplace. The combination of monetary damages on top of injunctive remedies that will change Google’s behavior is what we desired from the very outset of this case. Utah is proud to lead this lawsuit with so many states joining our fight. We couldn’t have accomplished this global settlement without the collective and Herculean efforts of so many dedicated lawyers and staff from AG offices around the country.
In their lawsuit (Utah v. Google), the States focused on the company’s Play Store, alleging that Google harmed consumers by using its monopoly power in the Android app market to inflate prices for paid apps and in-app purchases. The agreement in principle will be finalized over the next 30 days, when the complete details will be made public.
The lawsuit was led by Attorney General Reyes and the Utah Attorney General’s Office, with assistance from the Utah Division of Consumer Protection, along with the Attorneys General of North Carolina, Tennessee, New York, and California, who released the following joint statement:
No company is too big to play by the rules, including Google. We brought this lawsuit because it is illegal to use monopoly power to drive up prices. We appreciate this bipartisan group of Attorneys General who fought for a fair marketplace that encourages competition, innovation, and lower prices for consumers. We look forward to finalizing this agreement and sharing more details in the next 30 days.
In August 2021, General Reyes made the following comments after initiating action:
Google’s monopoly is a menace to the marketplace. Google Play is not fair play. Google must be held accountable for harming small businesses and consumers. It must stop using its monopolistic power and hyper-dominant market position to unlawfully leverage billions of added dollars from smaller companies, competitors, and consumers beyond what should be paid.
Most consumers have no idea that for years Google has imposed unnecessary fees far beyond the market rates for in-app transactions, unlawfully inflating costs for many services, upgrades, and other purchases made through apps downloaded on the Google Play Store. As a result, a typical American consumer may have paid hundreds if not thousands of dollars more than needed over many years. Utah and the other states in our coalition are fighting back to protect our citizens and innovative app developers—including many small businesses across America—from Google’s unlawful practices.
Read the original press release from the Utah Attorney General’s Office. No additional information will be released until the agreement is finalized.