September 26, 2021

Angle: Apple decision, is it advantageous for Google? Billing rule review

A lawsuit filed by Android app developers against Google after a federal district court in California continues to allow Apple to charge up to 30% in-app. The whereabouts of were also opaque.

This district court trial was initiated by Epic Games, which develops the popular game app “Fort Knight”, against Apple, and Apple’s app store “App Store”, which obliges the use of its own billing system, is antitrust law ( He claimed to violate the Antimonopoly Act). The federal district court ordered Apple on the 10th to allow guidance to external billing.

App developers, including Epic, are also suing Google. Legal experts point out that the trial is at least a year away, and until then both plaintiffs and defendants have time to scrutinize the ruling.

The Android app store Google Play has similar terms to Apple, and DA Davidson analyst Tom Fort says it’s a risk to Google. Congress could make a bill, he said.

Following the ruling, shares in Apple fell 3.3% and shares in Google’s parent company Alphabet fell 1.9%.

However, the district court has allowed Apple to charge an in-app purchase and a 15-30% fee. “I’m very pleased,” Apple Legal Advisor Catherine Adams told reporters. “It’s not a win for developers or consumers,” Epic CEO Tim Sweeney posted on Twitter.

Opinions are divided among legal experts. Professor Rebecca Allensworth of Vanderbilt University Law School said the ruling was against Google. “(Google) will be encouraged by the ruling,” said Valerie Williams, a partner at Alston & Bird LLP, who is familiar with antitrust law.

Judge Gonzales Rogers of the Federal District Court pointed out that restrictions on distribution allow users to purchase apps without worrying about viruses. “We will examine the app to eliminate fraud, offensive content, and copyright infringement, and set strict standards for the handling of personal information, improving security in a” broad “sense.”

In addition, the ruling said that fees would bring “order of magnitude profits” to Apple, but that forcing Apple to relax restrictions could lead to a lack of revenue from providing the platform to app developers. Apple’s claims of high security and centralized control could be undermined, he said.

Google has also justified the terms and fees in its proceedings, calling for the protection and security of personal information. Given that Google has a smaller share of the US app market, plaintiffs may need to reassess their claims. The district court did not accept Epic’s claim that Apple was a monopoly.

Originally, the proceedings against Google were difficult. Google’s system allows apps to be downloaded from sources other than the app store, and it’s hard to claim that they dominate the market. I didn’t force my company’s policy.

Reuters asked Google and Epic, as well as Google’s app developers for comment, but refused.