A new lawsuit brought by consumer advocate Liz Coll against Google in London seeks damages of up to £ 920 million (US $ 1.3 billion) on behalf of around 19.5 million Android users in the country.
The Google Play Store’s 30 percent surcharge for digital purchases is illegal and “is out of proportion to the cost of providing the services”. The case comes less than a month after a coalition of 37 attorneys general filed a lawsuit against Google over high fees for the Play Store app.
Liz Coll, the proposed class representative in the lawsuit, said in a statement:
Google is a gatekeeper for so many digital services and has a responsibility not to abuse that position and overwhelm ordinary consumers. These hidden fees are unlawful and Google’s customers deserve compensation and better treatment from Google in the future.
The lawsuit alleges that Google is eliminating competition with the Play Store by requiring it to be pre-installed on all Android devices – including the best cheap Android phones. It also “steers” users to its own payment processing system, which adds a 30% surcharge on every purchase. This, according to the lawsuit, not only generates massive revenue for the company, but also goes straight into the pockets of consumers. The lawsuit also alleges that these practices violate Section 18 of the UK Competition Act 1998 and Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
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If the lawsuit is successful, Android users in the UK could receive compensation of around £ 47 each. Any Android user who has purchased an app or other content in an app from the UK version of the Play Store using an Android phone or tablet is entitled to compensation.
Android Central asked Google for a comment.
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