Google Play Store app on smart phone

Epic joins multi-million-pound compensation trial against Google Play Store 

The competition court this week agreed to hear the evidence together from two major trials against Google’s app store over anti-competitive claims

Google Play Store is the main place where hundreds of millions of people around the world download and install apps that work on smartphones powered by Google’s Android software.

Google is accused of excessive Play Store charges in a £920 million consumer claim that’s due to go to trial next year. Fortnite-maker Epic Games is also suing Google on behalf of app developers over similar claims in the UK.

Epic asked the court to consolidate its case against Google with the consumer lawsuit that’s being led by Liz Coll, a consumer technology expert. 

At a hearing held on Monday, the Competition Appeal Tribunal proposed that a large amount of the factual evidence across the two trials should be heard together at Coll’s trial given the similarities between the two claims.

Liz Coll, who is representing 19.5 million UK consumers in her claim, said following the hearing:

‘My duty is first and foremost getting redress for the consumers I represent who have overpaid for their apps over the years in the Google Play Store. Subject to all the details being ironed out, we’re content with the approach outlined at the hearing.

‘It is aimed at finding a practical way forward and avoiding the risk of inconsistent judgments in light of the similar claim being brought by Epic Games against Google.’

Coll confirmed that these changes won’t delay the October 2025 trial date for her claim – though it will add an extra week onto the trial. She also confirmed that the changes won’t result in the ‘consumer class case shouldering a disproportionate amount of additional costs that will result from this changed approach.’ 

Epic’s trial against Google – which was due to take place in May 2025 – will now be delayed until 2026.

About the Google Play Store claim

Google is facing a claim for £920 million in consumer compensation for allegedly overcharging customers for buying apps and making in-app purchases. These charges were levied on a range of digital services provided by popular apps like Minecraft, Football Manager and Driving Theory Test.

It’s typical for 30% of what is spent when shopping in the Google Play Store to go straight to Google. Coll – with law firm Hausfeld – claim this is a breach of UK competition law and an abuse of its dominant position.

Google Play Store purchases are routed through Google’s own payment service, which is where high commission charges are added. 

Google is accused of discouraging developers from distributing Android apps through alternatives to Google Play Store. This in turn stops app developers being able to offer lower prices.

Coll argues this practice is unlawful, and that Google would not be able to charge customers such an excessive fee if its devices were open to competition.

Epic sues Google in the UK and US

Similarly, Epic has claimed that Google illegally tied together its app store and payment service, forcing app developers to use both and subsequently pay fees of up to 30% to Google. The gaming company also claims Google is in violation of UK competition law.

Epic won a US court case against Google in December over its app store fees. A San Francisco court jury decided that Google’s Android app store has been protected by anti-competitive practices that have damaged smartphone consumers and software developers. 

Google has separately agreed with US state attorneys to a £533 million Play Store settlement. More than £497 million of this will be used to compensate US consumers forced into a payment processing system that is said to have driven up prices.

Who is eligible for compensation?

Consumers who own an Android smartphone or tablet and bought apps or made in-app purchases since 1 October 2015 will be eligible for compensation if the Coll wins her case. 

The claim applies to apps on Android smartphones or tablets that require download, subscription payments or allow for in-app purchases. It does not apply to apps that provide physical goods or services – like Deliveroo or Uber – which are not required to use Google Play Store’s payment system.

Sign up to Consumer Voice to stay updated as the claim progresses. 

Related claims

Google Play Store app on smart phone

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Google faces a £920m consumer claim for excessive Play Store charges. Sign up for updates if you bought apps on your android since 1 October 2015.

Apple App Store

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Apple faces allegations of excessive App Store charges of £1.5bn. Sign up to stay updated if you bought apps on your iPhone or iPad since 1 October 2015.

Apple iPhone

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