Epic Games emerges triumphant in antitrust battle against Google


  • Epic Games triumphs in antitrust trial against Google.
  • Google’s app store practices under scrutiny, potential transformation.
  • Verdict reshapes app store future, impacting developers, consumers.

In a landmark antitrust trial, Epic Games has emerged victorious against tech giant Google, marking a significant turning point in the ongoing battle over app store practices. The lawsuit, filed by Epic in 2020, alleged that Google had monopolized the Android app distribution market through its Google Play Store, imposing exorbitant fees and stifling competition. The jury’s verdict, delivered recently, has far-reaching implications for the future of app stores.

Antitrust ruling shakes Google’s dominance

The central elements of Epic’s lawsuit revolved around Google’s monopolistic practices within the Android ecosystem. Google’s insistence on a 30% revenue share from apps on the Google Play Store, coupled with its mandatory use of Google Play’s billing system, left developers with no alternative but to funnel their earnings through Google’s platform. Additionally, Epic claimed that Google had engaged in anti-competitive behavior by offering lucrative deals to device manufacturers, effectively excluding other app stores from their devices.

The jury’s verdict found Google guilty on multiple fronts

Existence of an Antitrust Market: The jury acknowledged the presence of an antitrust market within Android devices, challenging Google’s monopoly.

Willful Acquisition of Monopoly Power: Google was found to have willfully acquired and maintained monopoly power through anticompetitive conduct.

Unreasonable Restraint of Trade: The verdict asserted that Google had entered into agreements that unreasonably restrained trade, hindering competition in the app distribution sphere.

Unlawful Tying of Services: Google was deemed to have unlawfully tied the use of the Google Play Store to the use of Google Play Billing, further restricting developers’ options.

Damage to Epic: The jury recognized that Epic had suffered damage as a result of Google’s violations of antitrust laws.

A victory for app developers and consumers worldwide

Epic Games hailed the decision as a triumph for app developers and consumers globally. In a blog post, the company stated that the verdict “proves that Google’s app store practices are illegal and they abuse their monopoly to extract exorbitant fees, stifle competition, and reduce innovation.”

While Epic Games celebrates its victory, the broader implications of this antitrust ruling remain uncertain. Both Epic and Google are scheduled to meet with the judge in January to discuss potential remedies, and Google has announced its intent to appeal the decision. Consequently, the precise changes that may occur in the app store landscape remain to be seen.

The legal battle between Epic Games and tech giants Google and Apple began in August 2020 when Epic attempted to circumvent platform fees by introducing a direct payment option in its popular game, Fortnite. This move led to the removal of Fortnite from both Google Play and the App Store.

Epic subsequently initiated legal action against both Google and Apple, aiming to dismantle what it perceived as anti-competitive restrictions in mobile device marketplaces. In 2021, Epic experienced a setback in its case against Apple, with the only silver lining being the judge’s ruling that Apple could no longer prohibit developers from directing users to external payment options not subject to Apple’s fees.

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Lacton Muriuki

Lacton is an experienced journalist specializing in blockchain-based technologies, including NFTs and cryptocurrency. He dabbles in daily crypto news rich with well-researched stats. He adds aesthetic appeal, adding a human face to technology.

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