back to article London class-action sueball against Google is a lot like Epic's case except fandroids might win enough for a pint

Yet another anti-Big Tech group litigation lawsuit has been launched in London. This time it's targeting Google, claims to be on behalf of 19 million Android users, seeks up to £920m in damages, and pretty much mirrors Epic Games' lawsuit against the Chocolate Factory over app store charges. Kicked off in the Competition …

  1. Robert Grant Silver badge

    Vice-like grip

    Except they allow other stores. Are they thinking of Apple?

    1. TiredNConfused80

      Re: Vice-like grip

      Must admit I was wondering the same thing. You can load an apk from anywhere as long as you change your security settings to allow it? so not sure where they think their case is?

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Vice-like grip

        so not sure where they think their case is?

        as long as you change your security settings to allow it

        There, I found it for you.

        It does not cost 30% of developers revenue to run a Play store, even if you consider a healthy margin. Pure extortion and abuse of dominant position.

        1. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: Vice-like grip

          The cost is irrelevant. If people are willing to pay, it's worth it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Vice-like grip

            I think the question is with Google's dominant position have they really got a choice? Your average user isn't likely to know how to go to another App Store and Google steer you away if you try.

            My concern is how, under English law, a venture capital firm can profit. Surly any award can be used to cover costs but has to be split between those represented?

          2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

            Re: Vice-like grip

            So if they don't want to pay extortionate fees, what choice do they have?

  2. katrinab Silver badge
    Gimp

    Why are they picking on Google?

    Unlike Apple, you can install alternative app stores on Android, and you can sideload apps that you obtain directly.

    Gambling apps used to be, and possibly still are, distributed this way, because Google wouldn't (doesn't?) allow them on their store.

    [edit] I checked, they are now available on the Play Store. They weren't at one point.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why are they picking on Google?

      Apps that might be connected to your post icon are distributed that way since Google definitely does not allow them in Play. Not that I'd know anything about that... was looking for a friend...

    2. nematoad Silver badge

      Re: Why are they picking on Google?

      To quote Willie Sutton, "That's where the money is."

    3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Why are they picking on Google?

      The problem is that you will put off many potential consumers by saying to install our app, download this file and change your security settings to run it. It's kind of like trying to sell your products from a back alley.

      The .apk should be a first class citizen and you should be able to install them without having to menu dive, as long as the file is signed with a trusted key.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Why are they picking on Google?

        Because Apple can turn round and day we aren't a monopoly because we're only 30% of the market.

        There is presumably lots of precedent for a duopoly both demanding extortionate rents while saying there is competition

      2. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Why are they picking on Google?

        Signed with a "trusted key" from whom? They aren't going to be able to force Google to sign it, so there will need to be a prompt to trust a key from Epic or whoever.

        You're never going to make it automatic to install a .apk without opening up a massive window for malware. Just because YOU might be able to evaluate what is safe to install and what isn't doesn't mean the average person is.

    4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Why are they picking on Google?

      The problem is that the Play Store is pre-installed. People don't know how to install alternative store and are unlikely going to because of the fear and not being tech savvy.

      There must be something, at very least, like with Microsoft and internet explorer, where people were given a choice to install alternative browsers.

      Also Play Store should be split from Google and become an independent company. This way a company (that should also become independent) that work on Android will have an incentive to open up access for alternative companies providing App Stores and they could compete with different fees and benefits for consumers.

      Current situation is not sustainable.

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: Why are they picking on Google?

        Most phones come with an alternative store. The issue is you can't remove the Google root kit from your phone.

  3. nematoad Silver badge

    Swings and round-abouts.

    If memory serves me correctly Therium Litigation Funding IC were the people who funded the Justice for Sub-Postmasters Alliance in their titanic struggle against The Post Office.

    The JSPA won, as is well known, but a lot of the £57 million award went to Therium and its lawyers.

    Having said that if Therium had not stumped up the money in the first place the Post Office might have got away with the cover-up and a huge miscarriage of justice would not now be in the process of being put right after twenty years.

    So, there are good and bad things about legal "guns-for-hire. "But to my mind, if nothing else comes out of it and those affected get little or no recompense, at least the bad behaviour and outright illegality of these big corporations would never be exposed.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Swings and round-abouts.

      The fact that we don't have institutions that would work to protect the victims like in case of Post Office is crazy. They should at very least pay the £57 million award AND the fees.

      Especially when we are looking at another scandal of Post Office calibre emerging - that is the Loan Charge / IR35 / Umbrellas.

  4. mark l 2 Silver badge

    While Android in my opinion is the least restrictive ecosystem when it come to installing apps from outside of Google Play, it will only take a win against Google for other such legal action to come after Apple, Microsoft, Sony and any one else who runs an app store. So that would probably get them all do something about their restrictive policies before they do get sued. So I hope they do win this case, although I doubt any Android users will ever see a penny of any damages awarded.

  5. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Hypocrisy

    Let me get it straight:

    Google is taxing developers 30% on their revenue, but they themselves don't want to be taxed on their revenue?

    We should start reaping the benefits of Brexit and slap 30% tax on revenue for FAANG companies.

    I bet they'll quickly drop fees for UK developers to 1-2%.

    1. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: Hypocrisy

      Google aren't "taxing" anybody. They are not a government.

      1. nematoad Silver badge

        Re: Hypocrisy

        No, they are not. But neither was Microsoft in the good old days of IE 6 etc.

      2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Hypocrisy

        This is effectively a tax and Google has more power than many governments combined.

        Even HMRC cannot comb their books.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Flame

    "Advocates of these cases"

    are lawyers looking at the $$$ signs that they stand to reap.

    I'm getting sick of all these hypocrites pretending to work for the benefit of the public.

    It's for the benefit of the public ? Then you get your hourly rate and not a cent more.

    Liars.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: "Advocates of these cases"

      So instead each developer on the app store could go to their local solicitor and ask them to sue Google separately. That should be cheaper?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Coll and Vannin seek £920m from Google

    while I hate google with a passion, I hate trolls even more (looks like I need a proper scale by my monitor!). I do hope they lose and they're made to pay FULL costs. That's in alternative reality though, because in our reality...

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I suppose that having someone front for them Vannin are protected against being declared vexatious litigants.

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