Epic wins its lawsuit against Google as jury finds Google Play engaged in monopolist practices


The long-running lawsuit between Epic and Google has been decided, and it’s been a slam dunk win for Epic Games: A jury found that the Google Play store and its associated billing service was used by the company to create a monopoly, coming to a decision within hours of deliberation.

The jury unanimously found in favor of Epic on all counts, deciding that Google has monopoly power in the Android app distribution markets and in-app billing services markets, that Google engaged in anti-competitive practices, and that Epic was injured as a result. The jury also found that Google’s app store and Google Play Billing have an illegal connection to each other and that distribution agreements with app developers are monopolist.

Epic called the verdict “a win for all app developers and consumers around the world” in a statement, pointing out how Google was willing to pay billions to stifle alternative app stores and cement Google’s position as a dominant force in the Android market; Epic is also stumping for legislation and regulation to “address Apple and Google strangleholds over smartphones.”

Unsurprisingly, Google is already preparing to appeal the decision. “The trial made clear that we compete fiercely with Apple and its App Store, as well as app stores on Android devices and gaming consoles,” reads a statement from Google VP of government affairs and public policy Wilson White. “We will continue to defend the Android business model and remain deeply committed to our users, partners, and the broader Android ecosystem.”

Judge James Donato has not ruled on what remedies Epic Games is entitled to as a result of the decision. Epic entered the suit not to collect monetary damages but instead to allow app developers to introduce their own stores and payment processes. Both parties will meet with Judge Donato to discuss the matter in the second week of January.

Gamers will recall that this case originated with Epic’s 2020 effort to insert its own direct payment system into Fortnite on iOS and Android, which resulted in the ban of the game from both platforms; the Apple leg of the lawsuit was nominally completed back in 2021, though appeals continue.

source: The Verge
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