According to a court document unsealed on Saturday, Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google made $11.2 billion in revenue from its mobile app store in 2019, providing a detailed look into the service’s financial results for the first time.
In the newly unredacted filing, attorneys general for Utah and 36 other U.S. states or districts suing Google over alleged antitrust violations with the app store also stated that the corporate made $8.5 billion in gross profit margin and $7 billion in operating income in 2019, for an operating margin of over 62 percent.
App store advertisements, in-app purchases, and app store sales are all included within the numbers. the info “is being exploited to mischaracterize our company during a meritless lawsuit,” Google told Reuters.
A trial in late 2022 over whether Google exploits its purported monopoly in-app sales for Android smartphones is feasible, according to the firm and its accusers in a separate filing on Saturday.
Google combines Play app income with that of other services in its quarterly financial reports and accounts for the store’s ad revenue as part of another wider category.
Attorneys general, as well as mobile app maker Epic Games and others, have claimed that Google makes a lot of money off the Play Store because it takes 30% of the charge for every digital product sold inside an app. The plaintiffs claim that Google’s share is excessively high, siphoning income from app creators.
Alternatives to Google’s shop and payment methods, according to Google, exist, however opponents say they are impractical and have been banned in the past. Plaintiffs claim that Google used anti-competitive agreements to provide advantages to and put limits on big companies such as Riot Games, the creators of “League of Legends,” in order to keep them from leaving the Play Store.
According to internal papers, Google feared losing $1.1 billion in yearly app store earnings if the Play Store was effectively circumvented, according to a filing by Epic Games that was unsealed last month.
In a June answer to state attorneys general, Google stated that the Play Store “provides greater openness and choice than others,” and that on Android, “you may choose to download the app from a competitor app store or straight from a developer’s website.” However, this filing debunks that argument as well, pointing out that Google’s OEM agreements with phone manufacturers prevent them from making other app stores as easy to use as the Play Store, which they are required to include on a device’s home screen in order to pre-load Google apps like Gmail and Google Maps.
According to the lawsuit, this makes it “impossible for developers to directly approach users to provide alternatives to Google Play Store.” One of the modest concessions Apple made in its proposed class action settlement earlier this week was allowing developers to utilise information from the App Store to contact users with emails that included information about other payment methods. Companies like Spotify and Epic, on the opposite hand, argue that this is not nearly enough.