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Google sued for breaking deal to provide free workspace software to early adopters




Google was sued by an early adopter of Workplace cloud productivity software. Google claims it broke its promise to provide free access to the program forever.

Formerly known as Google Apps and G Suite, Google Workplace offers Gmail, Calendar, Drive for storage, Google Docs for content creation, and many more.

Some programs are all free, but enterprise features such as custom email addresses and shared drive storage cost extra.

The Stratford Company filed a lawsuit on behalf of all early adopters who were tempted to use the software in its early stages, allowing Alphabet-owned Google to tweak the software and sell it for a fee. In exchange, Stratford said, early adopters were promised a free version of Workspace for as long as Google offered it.

In 2012, Google began charging new customers a monthly software usage fee of $12. Then, in 2022, Google announced that it would charge traditional users as well, but later excluded non-business users of the software.

Stratford said in a complaint filed Friday in San Jose federal court that the case illustrates Google’s abandonment of its “don’t be evil” tenet.

As the blue chip in a conglomerate worth nearly $2 trillion, Google has already amassed huge profits for breaking promises to loyal customers that helped Google build profitable products.

Stratford’s firm is seeking class action status for all early adopters, with damages determined in court, but not less than $5 million.

Google did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment sent after normal business hours.

Updated: Aug 6, 2022, 11:45 AM




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