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Capitol Briefs: Missouri among states suing Google over alleged antitrust actions

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Attorney General Eric Schmitt is accusing Google of violating antitrust laws and limiting customer choice in a lawsuit filed this week. 

Schmitt joined a bipartisan coalition of 37 attorneys general accusing the juggernaut of shutting out competing apps through its Google Play Store on Android devices and requiring app developers to use Google Billing. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleged Google violated federal antitrust laws by discouraging competition and going back on commitments to keep Android devices open-source. 

“I will never stop fighting to protect citizens and consumers from these unlawful actions by tech giants, and once again we are demonstrating with concrete actions that we are committed to holding even the biggest of big tech companies accountable,” Schmitt said. 

  • Schmitt said the billing arrangement forced developers to pay Google a 30 percent commission on in-app purchases. He also pointed out Google apps are preloaded on phones running the Android operating system. 
  • Neighboring states Arkansas, Arizona, Iowa, and Oklahoma also joined the suit. 
  • This isn’t the first time Schmitt has taken on the tech giant with an antitrust challenge: He joined a multi-state probe with other attorneys general in 2019 to investigate its advertising practices. 
  • The probe led to another antitrust suit last year from the Department of Justice. Schmitt and 10 other attorneys general accused Google of maintaining a monopoly through agreements with other tech companies and purchasing preferential treatment. The lawsuit has yet to be considered in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
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