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US Judge Allows $4.7 Billion Class Action Lawsuit Against Google By 21 Million Individuals

The class action suit representing 21 million people has been allowed to proceed, alleging anticompetitive Play Store policies by Google, and more

A U.S. Judge in California has allowed a litigation against Google to proceed as a class action lawsuit of 21 million individuals, who have identified damages worth $4.7 billion. The plaintiffs have accused the company of violating the anti-competition laws in the US. Reuters said the trial is scheduled to begin in June 2023. Who are these 21 million people?  Several anti-trust cases have "been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) for centralized proceedings before this Court," the order by U.S. District Judge James Donato read. These people belong to 12 American states and territories including Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. What's the case all about?  The plaintiffs have made the following allegations, as per the court order: Google not allowing other app distribution channels: “Google has willfully and unlawfully maintained its monopoly in the Android Application Distribution Market through a series of related anticompetitive acts designed to foreclose alternative and competing Android app distribution channels.” Pre-installing Google Play Store hampers competition: "The anticompetitive acts include requiring OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to preinstall and prominently place the Google Play Store on the Android devices they manufacture; requiring mobile network operators, in return for a share of Google’s revenues, to preload the Google Play Store in a prominent position on all Android mobile devices that they distribute; and prohibiting developers who sell their apps through the Google Play Store from providing any apps that would allow consumers to download a competing app distribution store." Mandating billing through Google…

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I cover privacy, surveillance and tech policy. In my reporting, I try my best to present the most relevant facts, and sometimes add in a pinch of my thoughts.

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