🍎 Why state attorneys have a problem with Google resembling Apple 

What’s the basis of the antitrust suit against Google, ya know the one that hasn’t been swatted away already by a federal judge, a la Facebook? One simple way to think about it is, as the WSJ explains, regulators are tired of Google acting like Apple. 

  • This new antitrust suit was filed last week: 36 state attorneys general accused Google of turning its Android operating system into a walled garden, i.e. that Google was too powerful in deciding how developers get to use the system.

  • Android wasn’t supposed to be like this: When it launched, Google presented it as a kind of anti-Apple. Whereas Apple has always exerted complete control over its App Store, Google allowed companies to develop their own app stores to compete against Google Play. 

  • But Google started changing things: Last year, it began requiring all companies that sell services on Android to use Google’s in-app billing system. (This would include major players like Netflix and Spotify.) Google gets a 30% cut of the revenues.

So why is it potentially antitrust?

The attorney generals essentially believe Google is making life harder for the other companies and is able to do so because of its power and influence. 

The Verdict

It’ll be a while before this lawsuit progresses, but in the meantime, the Epic v. Apple lawsuit could provide a glimpse of what’s to come for Google.