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Iowa Attorney General joining lawsuit against Google

DES MOINES — Iowa’s Attorney General has joined 37 of his counterparts in other states to file a lawsuit against Google.

Attorney General spokeswoman Ashlee Kieler says, “We are alleging that Google has an unfair monopoly with regards to their app store and how that works in the android system.”

The states accuse Google of using its dominance to unfairly restrict competition with the Google Play Store, harming consumers by limiting choice and driving up app prices. “App developers are required in most cases to use the Google payment system. So, that means if the consumer downloads the app from the Google Playstore, any purchase they are making within that app is processed through the Google pay system — and through that, Google can charge fees,” according to Kieler.

The lawsuit alleges Google has knowingly passed higher than average fees along to customers, often costing consumers hundreds if not thousands of dollars they wouldn’t have spent except for Google’s dominant market position. Kieler says the states are seeking a couple of things in the lawsuit. “Looking to have Google open things up more so that there can be more competition within the Googleplay App store and the Google pay system,” Kieler says, “and also looking for giving some monetary funds back to consumers.”

Kieler does not know exactly how many Iowans may have had to pay the fees.


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