A bipartisan group of state attorneys general, including Iowa's, filed an antitrust lawsuit this week that targets Google's app store, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Thirty six states and the District of Columbia brought the lawsuit that alleges Google has a monopoly for distributing apps over the Android operating system.

The lawsuit goes on to claim that Google favors it's Play Store over other apps also available on the Android system, and also argues that app developers are left with no other choice than distribute their apps through that store. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says that "through the use of restrictive contracts and agreements, Google has used this reliance to thwart competition and create a monopoly in app distribution."

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The Gazette reports that app developers have long publicly criticized Google's rules for participating in their app store. For years, Google charged a 30% commission for app sales and in app purchases in the Google Play Store. Facing growing pressure, the company dropped that number down to 15% as of July 1st, but only of the first $1 million in sales by the app developer. The lawsuit argues that commission rate is "extravagant" and not the result of a competitive market.

Unlike Apple, Google does allow other companies to sell apps on the Android system, according to the Gazette. But in most countries, the official Play Store is the main place to get apps, and Google has required device makers to preload the Play Store app on phones. Competitors say that is unfair.

 

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