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Competition court held hearing on Monday

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In the next post I’ll talk about a new US class action on Apple Pay, but let’s not lose sight of the second most popular target of class actions.

Last year, the Hausfeld firm filed a UK antitrust class action on behalf of consumers seeking compensation of up to £920 million (currently about $1.1 billion) for “excessive and illegal” surcharges on digital purchases made through the Google Play Store. Earlier, the same company also brought a similar case against Apple, which passed a major legal and factual plausibility test a few weeks ago.

Interestingly, the official website set up to inform UK consumers about both cases, www.appstoreclaims.co.uk, is extremely difficult to find through Google searches. I actually only found it because of a press release referring to it. I’m not suggesting cheating (Google always insists there’s no manual manipulation of search rankings), but it’s counterintuitive given that there’s a lot going on about the matter. was reported, and are worth keeping an eye on.

In September 2021, the Chair of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), Mr Justice Roth, issued a reasoned injunction (pdf). He “note”[d] that Google’s conduct in relation to the Android operating system and the Google ecosystem has been the subject of a number of regulatory investigations and private claims in various jurisdictions, including by the UK Competition and Markets Authority. One of the terms used by the CMA has since been quoted in cases around the world (though not in the CAT order I just linked to): “vice-like grip” – which I prefer to spell as “vise vise like grip.”

Citing a UK case previously filed by Epic Games, Mr Justice Roth stated that he is “dissatisfied that there is an issue to be tried against Google Commerce or Google Payments” in what has been described as a “bundling” abuse, but that was just one of several claims made that are not essential to the mission.

The CAT website still states that “[a] hearing for the CPO [Collective Proceedings Order] Registration is due July 18, 2022, with an estimated time of half a day.” The decision is expected to be published quite soon, but the outcome is already known. On LinkedIn, Liz Coll – the class representative – announced the favorable decision (click on the image to enlarge or read the text below):

This is (again) what the class representative wrote:

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