Google is accused of using anti-competitive tactics to prevent Android apps from being distributed outside of its Play store, where its payment system collects commissions on transactions, according to the lawsuit, which is backed by 37 state attorneys general.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday by dozens of US states accuses Google of abusing its power when it comes to getting apps for Android-powered mobile devices.

The lawsuit, which targets Google's Play Store, an online store for apps and other digital content for Android smartphones, comes as Big Tech firms' power is under increasing scrutiny from regulators and lawsuits.

"We've filed this lawsuit to put an end to Google's illegal monopoly power and give millions of consumers and business owners a voice." Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, is a key figure in the case.

"The company has ensured that hundreds of millions of Android users turn to Google, and only Google, for the millions of apps available for their phones and tablets."

Google is accused of using anti-competitive tactics to prevent Android apps from being distributed outside of its Play store, where its payment system collects commissions on transactions, according to the lawsuit, which is backed by 37 state attorneys general.

The lawsuit's allegations were dismissed by Google, who detailed how the Play Store has aided app developers while also providing security to Android device users.

In a blog post, Google senior director of public policy Wilson White said, "Android and Google Play provide openness and choice that other platforms simply don't."

"The complaint contains inflammatory language intended to divert attention away from the fact that our Android and Google Play rules benefit consumers."

According to the lawsuit, Google has acted as a "middleman" between app developers and consumers.

Meanwhile, the outcome of a federal lawsuit in which Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, accused Apple of abusing its monopoly power in the App Store is awaited.

Apple has tight control over the App Store, which is the only way for apps and other content to get onto iPhones and other iOS devices.

Android users, on the other hand, can download apps from places other than the Play Store.

In December, a group of attorneys general filed a lawsuit accusing Google of abusing its monopoly power in online search and advertising.

Attorneys general is urging the court to loosen Google's grip on the Play Store and order the company to hand over any "unjust profits" it has made from ads, purchases, or other means.

"The state's case against Google is about app developers, who would likely not have had the mass distribution nor the profits without the extensive distribution advantage of the Play Store, wanting to change the rules mid-stream," Competitive Enterprise Institute director Jessica Melugin said.

"Not only are there already other alternatives for downloading these apps on Android devices, but consumers benefit from the security, privacy, and convenience of centralized payment systems."

A US congressional panel in June advanced legislation that would lead to a sweeping overhaul of antitrust laws and give more power to regulators to break up large tech firms, specifically aiming at Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple.


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