Case: Kaplan Fox Investigates Claims That Consumers Overpaid For Apps Purchased Through The Google Play App Store
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Kaplan Fox is actively investigating potential antitrust claims against Google LLC (“Google”) concerning its distribution of mobile apps to Android users (“Android App Distribution Market”) and whether consumers who downloaded Apps from the Google Play Store overpaid for those Apps because of anticompetitive conduct by Google. 

Specifically, Google may have unlawfully maintained its monopoly or otherwise unreasonably restrained trade by: (1) licensing the Android trademark to original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”)—like Samsung, Motorola, LG, etc.—on the condition that the OEMs provide preferential placement and treatment to Google’s app distribution marketplace, the Google Play Store; and (2) imposing strict technical restrictions and obstacles on app developers to prevent the distribution of Android apps outside the Google Play Store.  As a result of Google’s conduct, the price of Android apps and/or in-app purchases may have been artificially inflated by as much as 30 percent.  Current or former Android users who made such purchases may therefore have an antitrust claim against Google. 

It has been alleged that Google has unlawfully maintained its monopoly or otherwise foreclosed competition in the Android App Distribution Market through its requirement that OEMs sign a Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (“MADA”) to license the Android trademark, the Google Play Store, and other essential Google services. Since 2014, Google’s MADA has required OEMs to pre-installed and prominently display the Google Play Store, and other proprietary Google apps. If a user decides to download a rival app store (or any app outside the Google Play Store ecosystem), then Google subsequently requires OEMs to display unjustified and pretextual warnings about the security of that app or app store.  Together, these practices harmed competition by improperly dissuading consumers from choosing competing app stores and services and allowed Google to charge prices up to 30% higher on every paid download of an app from the Play Store and every in-app purchase. 

If you purchased any Android apps and/or made any in-app purchases between October 8, 2016 to the present, and would like additional information please contact: 

Aaron Schwartz
KAPLAN FOX & KILSHEIMER LLP
850 Third Avenue, 14th Floor
New York, New York 10022
(646) 315-9003
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Laurence D. King
KAPLAN FOX & KILSHEIMER LLP
1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1560
Oakland, California 94612
(415) 772-4704
Fax:  (415) 772-4707
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