Google facing a multi-million dollar fine for allegedly breaking its promise
Following an investigation into claims that the company reneged on its promise to provide lifetime access for Workspace subscriptions, Google is facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit. The Stratford Company LLC is suing Alphabet, the parent company of Google, for more than $5 million on behalf of early Workspace adopters who claim that Alphabet enticed them to use its services during the early testing stages in exchange for free lifelong access. Many of the free services we’ve come to expect from Google today are included in Google Workspace, such as Gmail, Calendar, and Docs and Sheets. Paid services like cloud storage via Google Drive and custom email domain support are also available.
In 2012, Google began charging a monthly fee of $12 for its business-oriented suite’s premium version. For those who were promised free access for as long as the services were offered by the tech giant, the so-called “legacy” users, it was announced earlier this year that the services would be charged to them as well.
According to the complaint, Google’s abandonment of the credo “Google’s abandonment of the credo ‘don’t be evil’ is well-illustrated in this case. “Google, as the better part of a conglomerate worth nearly two trillion dollars, breaks a promise to loyal customers who helped Google develop a profitable product in order to pad its already grossly outsized profits.”
Class-action status is being sought by the firm on behalf of the clients it represents. Although the exact amount of damages will be determined during the trial, it is expected to be in excess of $5 million. The case at hand is Google LLC v. The Stratford Company LLC, 5:22-cv-4547, US District Court, Northern District of California.