Game Bits: 37 States Think Google Play Store Is A Monopoly, Australian Legislator Wants To Ban Loot Boxes

Google Is Accused By 37 States Of Using Play Store To Maintain A Monopoly On Android Devices

37 US state and district attorneys have sued Google for allegedly attempting to maintain a monopoly on Android devices.
Utah, New York, North Carolina, and Tennessee claim that the tech giant bought off competitors and used restrictive contracts to suppress competition in the Android ecosystem.
It claims that Google has “taken steps to close the ecosystem” since it acquired Android and that it has bought off both “key app developers” and Samsung in order to limit competition on Android.
“Google Play is unfair,” said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes in a statement. The company must stop abusing its monopolistic power and market position to illicitly extort billions of additional dollars from smaller companies, competitors, and consumers beyond what should be paid.”
In a blog post published on Wednesday, Google responded to the lawsuit by saying it was “misguided litigation that ignored Android’s openness.”
As the blog post continued, “This lawsuit is not about protecting consumers or helping the little guy.”. “It’s about boosting a handful of major app developers who want the Google Play benefits without having to pay for it.”
In their filing, the states ask for civil penalties and a court-imposed monitor to ensure that Google does not stifle consumers’ and developers’ choices.
In addition, the states aren’t ruling out taking similar action against Apple’s App Store, which is still embroiled in its own antitrust battle with Epic Games.

Australian Legislator Has Proposed A Bill To Ban Loot Boxes

An Australian member of parliament plans to propose a bill to prohibit loot boxes in games for children, as reported by Kotaku.
The Classification Amendment (Loot Box) Bill would ban companies in Australia from targeting minors with loot box sales and is expected to be introduced to Parliament in August.
The proposed legislation will be introduced by an Australian member of parliament Andrew Wilkie.
“We as a country accept that people over the age of 18 can gamble but let’s make that for adults and giving parents a warning,” the independent MP told the Daily Telegraph.
Wilkie’s bill would require games with loot boxes to have an adults-only (R18+) rating.
These games would also receive new advisory details along with their ratings. This would be similar to games advising they contain strong language, strong violence, etc.
Wilkie was concerned that loot boxes may be conditioning children to enjoy gambling, even if that was not the game makers’ intent.
“To allow very young children to pay cash for a randomized event that may or may not reward them that would meet any definition of gambling,” Wilkie said.

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