TL;DR: it seems Google is running an automated clean-up operation on the Chrome Extension Store, and it’s causing so much frustration for some developers that they’re giving up and shutting down.
How does this relate to mobile apps? Well, the only thing stopping this sort of debacle from happening on the App/Play Store is good luck and market incentives.
In many ways, the Chrome Extension store is a pale parody of the app ecosystem — submissions are ostensibly vetted for quality, there is a shadowy ‘review team’ with the arbitrary power to decide what gets a blessing and what gets a curse, and there are plenty of false positives that get overturned after further [human] review...if you have the right connections.
There have never not been complaints from developers about the issues with platform curation, but the App and Play Stores are high-profile enough that bad review behavior usually gets noticed and quickly corrected. Not so with the Chrome Extension Store, and there’s no real reason why this couldn’t happen to mobile apps too, if the incentive structure were to change.
As one commenter on Hacker News observed:
Ultimately, Google's business model is about earning fractions of a cent per view/download and making it up in volume. Their profit margin depends on relentless cost optimization, and humans are inevitably the most expensive part of their support/maintenance systems.
Google undoubtedly doesn't want to put extension writers out of business, but if they adjust their procedures to give cases like this real human attention then they will undoubtedly allow a few dozen spammers/scammers to also receive human attention.