Bench Walk backs Google Play Store opt-out claim

Professor Barry Rodger and Geradin Partners secure litigation funding for UK opt-out competition damages claim against Google for allegedly anti-competitive behaviour related to its Play Store. A Litigation Finance Fund managed by Bench Walk Advisors is providing substantial funding for the claim. 

Prominent competition law academic, Professor Barry Rodger, Strathclyde University, will bring the action on behalf of UK developers that distribute their apps through Google’s Play Store. This multi-million pound opt-out collective action will seek remedies for the affected developers and seek to promote a more competitive landscape in the Android ecosystem. The claim will allege that Google abused its market dominance by intentionally hindering other ways for developers to distribute their apps, and by charging app developers an excessive and unfair commission of up to 30% on user payments.

Professor Rodger has instructed leading competition law firm, Geradin Partners, to bring the claim. He intends to file the action in the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal imminently.

Professor Rodger said: “Google has said repeatedly that Android is an open ecosystem which fosters competition and growth. In reality, however, Google uses its control over that ecosystem to shut out its competition unfairly and to extract unjustifiable fees from app developers. As the UK Competition and Markets Authority has said, tens of thousands of UK businesses such as app and web developers ‘face restrictions and terms that they have little choice but to accept’, and those restrictions enable Google ‘to charge above a competitive rate of commission to app developers’. I am bringing this litigation to give app developers of all sizes the chance to be compensated for these unfair practices.

Founding Partner of Geradin Partners, Damien Geradin, said: “Google is one of the most powerful companies in the world. Regulators around the globe have scrutinised its Play Store conduct and consider it harmful. Yet Google continues to use its monopoly position to force out competition and to exploit app developers. It is imperative therefore that developers in the UK also have the opportunity to seek redress for Google’s wrongful conduct.

Additional information about the claim and how businesses can stay up to date with developments will follow soon.

Bench Walk Advisors is a leading litigation funder with a team of multi award-winning finance professionals and litigators. Geradin Partners is a leading law firm with offices in London, Brussels and Amsterdam and expertise in competition law and technology.