"Washington DC, 36 US states file lawsuit against Google"
At least 36 states and the District of Columbia have sued Google, arguing that its monopoly on the Android app market violates antitrust rules. For many years, Google has refused to enable Android to be used as a "open source" operating system, thus blocking off prospective competitors, according to the complaint. The complaint claims that Google has robbed Android device consumers of robust competition in the Google Play Store through a series of exclusionary contracts and other anticompetitive behaviour, which may lead to greater choice and innovation, as well as considerably cheaper costs for mobile apps. Google is also accused of forcing app developers selling in-app digital content through Google's Play Store to use Google Billing as a middleman, forcing app users to pay Google's commission — up to 30% — indefinitely, according to New York Attorney General James and the coalition, which includes the attorneys general of Utah, North Carolina, and Tennessee. “For many years, Google has functioned as the gatekeeper of the internet; more lately, it has also served as the gatekeeper of our digital gadgets, resulting in all of us paying more for the software we use every day,” James claimed. “Once again, Google is abusing its power to stifle competition and profit to the tune of billions of dollars. “Through its illegal behaviour, Google has assured that hundreds of millions of Android users look to Google, and only Google, for the millions of apps they may download on their phones and tablets,” she added. “Worse still, Google is sucking the lifeblood out of millions of tiny firms who are just trying to stay in business. We're bringing this complaint to put a stop to Google's illegitimate monopolistic power and give millions of consumers and business owners a voice,” James added. According to the complaint, Google places technological hurdles in the way of third-party app developers that want to distribute their products outside of the Google Play Store. Google, it claims, incorporates a series of deceptive security warnings and other obstacles into Android that prevent users from installing apps from sources other than Google's Play Store, essentially prohibiting app developers and app shops from selling directly to customers. For many years, Google has refused to allow Android to be used as an "open source" platform, thus shutting off potential competition. OEMs that want to build their devices with Android must sign agreements known as "Android Compatibility Commitments," or ACCs. According to the complaint, OEMs must commit not to produce or implement any variations or versions of Android that differ from the Google-certified version of Android under these "take it or leave it" agreements.