For half a year there's been a huge storm brewing over app store platforms, the money that they make, and who gets to keep how much of it. It all came to a head when Epic dared Apple and Google to kick Fortnite off of the App Store and Play Store for working around the usual in-app purchase revenue split. Long story short: Apple and Google did just that, and the legal battle is ongoing. But the fallout is affecting other parts of the industry.
Google has gotten bigger over the years, and that increased market share has come at the cost of increased scrutiny. The Department of Justice filed a massive antitrust lawsuit against the company in October, and last month we learned that more might be on the way. Those predictions have now come to pass, as a collection of nearly 40 states has filed a new suit against Google accusing it of "building an impenetrable moat around its kingdom." But it may be a while before this litigious jousting match goes to trial.
Back in October, the US Justice Department went after Google in a massive antitrust lawsuit filed against the company. We heard that Facebook could be looking at similar scrutiny, and now those rumors have come to fruition. Multiple lawsuits were filed against Facebook yesterday, including one from the Federal Trade Commission that seeks to remove Instagram and WhatsApp from the company's control. For its part, Facebook has called the litigation "revisionist history."
Google has always toed the line between respecting user privacy and making money off targeted ads, but things came to a head last month when the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the company due to antitrust allegations. Now it looks like more litigation is on the horizon from state attorneys hoping to add fuel to the fire — and Google isn't the only company under scrutiny.
Earlier this year, it came out that Google paid around $1.5 billion in 2019 to be the default search engine on various devices in the UK alone, most of which naturally goes to Apple. Factor in other countries, and it's likely to be a multi-billion dollar deal between the two tech behemoths (the DoJ estimates it at around $8-12 billion). It's a convenient arrangement that goes back more than a decade. Apple gets to serve the best search results to iPhone and iPad users, who in turn get served with Google's ads — everyone wins. Except for consumers, according to US antitrust authorities, and it's this increasing scrutiny that is pushing Apple to develop a competitive search engine of its own.
Google has been in hot water with government authorities time and time again, most recently when it comes to its acquisition of Fitbit in the EU. Now it looks like Google might have more tough times ahead in its home territory as the US Justice Department is reportedly considering forcing Google to sell the Chrome browser along with parts of its advertising business.
Google’s been facing antitrust cases left, right, and center in nearly all its major global markets, and it looks like those legal woes aren’t going away anytime soon. While the search giant’s Indian arm has already been contesting a couple of existing anti-competitive lawsuits (it was even fined $21 million in one of them), a new case alleges similar behavior in the smart TV market and makes some serious accusations about Google abusing its dominance.