In a significant development for millions who use Google’s UK Play Store, on 18th July 2022 the Competition Appeal Tribunal has authorised consumer champion Liz Coll to bring an opt-out collective claim against Google for alleged infringements relating to Google’s Play Store.
The claim was filed on behalf of almost 20 million consumers and businesses last year but the Tribunal's ruling confirms that it may proceed in full and it is now likely that Google will face its day in court. Ms Coll's claim seeks estimated damages of up to £920 million on behalf of UK users of the Play Store since October 2015.
It alleges Google has breached competition law by excluding competition and/or charging an unlawfully high level of commission on digital purchases (including purchases of and within apps), causing around 19.5 million users of the UK Play Store to be overcharged. The Tribunal will hand down a judgment explaining its reasons for certifying Ms Coll’s claim in the coming weeks. With the Tribunal's determination, Ms Coll will now represent all those who fall within the class definition, unless they choose to opt-out of her claim. This puts added pressure on Google amid mounting efforts globally to hold it accountable for alleged anticompetitive practices in relation to its Play Store.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is separately investigating Google’s conduct, and Google is also facing regulatory action in the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea, India and elsewhere.