In today’s major news from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Google is facing legal action over allegations that the Big Tech company overcharged its customers, while FinTech Wise is reporting higher earnings as more people use their remittance services.
Google faces $1 billion lawsuit in UK over App Store practices
Google is facing a $1.1 billion class action lawsuit in the UK over allegations the company overcharged 19.5 million customers for App Store purchases.
As Reuters reported on Tuesday (July 19), the lawsuit alleged that Google abused its position by charging users commissions of up to 30% on apps such as Candy Crush and Tinder.
The lawsuit, which is not expected to go to court until 2024, was brought by Liz Coll, a former digital policy officer at the non-profit group Citizens Advice. She alleged that Play Store commissions were illegal and in breach of UK and EU competition laws, and that Google had exploited its dominant position to the detriment of UK Android users.
Wise revenue grows as customers send money
Britain’s FinTech Wise saw its revenue increase by 50% in the last quarter, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday (July 19th).
The volume of money transferred by the company increased to 24.4 billion pounds ($29.3 billion) in the three months to June 30, from 16.4 billion pounds ($19. $7 billion) at the same time last year. Revenue rose around 50% year-on-year to 186 million pounds ($223.4 million).
Chief Financial Officer Matt Briers noted that rising inflation and fears of future currency volatility had pushed users to move larger volumes of money in recent months, with those volumes outpacing transfers from the same period of the previous year.
Made.com lowers its forecast for the second time this year due to a freeze on big ticket sales
Home furnishings retailer Made.com predicted a 15% to 30% decline in gross sales this year on Tuesday, sending its stock price plummeting and signaling that the era of expensive furniture purchases is over as that a likely economic recession is looming.
Shares of Made fell 41%, putting them at their lowest level since the company launched its initial public offering last year, according to the report. The company was one of the big winners during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as people improved homes when they couldn’t leave them.
Google Play prepares for Digital Markets Act by allowing alternative billing systems
On Tuesday, Google commented on the passing of the Digital Markets Act, which will force Google Play and other industry players to adjust their current operating model for users in the European Economic Area (EEA).
In a blog post, the company said that as part of its efforts to comply with the new rules, it was announcing a new program to support billing alternatives for EEA users. This means that developers of non-gaming apps can offer their users in the EEA an alternative to Google Play’s billing system when paying for digital content and services.
PropTech startup Casavo raises $409 million
PropTech startup Casavo has just pocketed €400 million ($409.2 million) in Series D funding, EU Startups reported today. Of that total, 300 million euros ($306.9 million) was led by Intesa Sanpaolo and Viola Credit, while Exor added another 100 million euros ($102.3 million).
The startup has gained traction in its native Italy as well as Spain, and expanded to Portugal this year. It will use the new capital to expand in France.
Founded by Giorgio Tinacci in 2017, Casavo is a digital real estate platform that offers free appraisals to sellers, generates a quick offer, buys the property and then renovates it to sell it for a profit. It uses a dynamic pricing model to assess each home’s financial potential, calculating post-renovation value based on data it has on similar properties.
For all PYMNTS EMEA coverage, subscribe daily EMEA Newsletter.