Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Bloomberg.
The Briefing
Google Apple

Google’s App Store Profits No Plaything

Photo: Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Bloomberg.

It seems only to be a matter of time before Apple and Google have to give up the tight controls they exercise over their mobile app stores, given the onslaught of litigation, investigation and legislation they each face around the world. And that means investors need to start thinking about the bottom line impact of the potential changes.

We got some assistance in that analysis with a new version of the states’ antitrust action against Google over its app store, Google Play, filed on Saturday, with some of the prior redactions lifted. It stated that Google Play generated $11.2 billion in revenue in 2019 and booked $7 billion in operating income. (Credit to Reuters’ Paresh Dave for working on a Saturday to report this.)That means the Play Store accounted for 20% of what Alphabet reported in operating income that year, a startlingly high number.

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