Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, has emerged victorious in a legal battle against Google Play, Alphabet’s app marketplace. This news was announced by Epic’s CEO on Monday, following the jury’s decision earlier in the day.
Tim Sweeney announced on X (formerly Twitter) that after a 4-week trial with thorough testimonies, a California jury ruled against Google Play’s monopoly on all charges. The Court will begin working on solutions in January.
According to a court document, the jury ruled in favor of Epic on all charges. The court will commence proceedings in January to determine appropriate measures to be taken.
Google announced its intention to appeal the decision. In an email statement, Wilson White, vice-president of government affairs and public policy at Google, expressed the company’s dedication to defending the Android business model and prioritizing the needs of their users, partners, and the larger Android community.
The attorneys representing both companies presented their concluding statements on Monday morning, following a lengthy trial in Epic’s legal case. The lawsuit claims that Google engaged in anti-competitive behavior by suppressing competitors and imposing excessive fees of up to 30% on app developers.
The accusations against Google included an illegal connection between its Play store and billing service, forcing developers to use both in order to have their apps listed on the store.
Google has suffered a significant loss with this ruling, as it runs one of the largest app stores globally. If the decision remains in place, it has the potential to disrupt the entire app store market and potentially grant developers more control over the distribution and profits of their apps.
Epic Games released a statement on their website stating that the recent verdict demonstrates Google’s illegal app store practices and how they exploit their monopoly power to impose excessive fees, suppress competition, and hinder innovation.
The case was recently passed to the jury by the federal judge, who emphasized that a unanimous decision was necessary within four hours.
Earlier in the day, Epic’s lawyer Gary Bornstein informed jurors that the trial has brought to light Google’s actions that have hindered competition. He stated that Google deliberately restricts alternative app stores on the Play store.
Google has refuted any wrongdoing, claiming that it fiercely competes with Apple’s App Store in terms of price, quality, and security.
According to Jonathan Kravis, a lawyer representing Google, the company is determined to prevent losing 60 million Android users to Apple on an annual basis. Google has lowered its fees in order to compete with Apple, as stated by Kravis.
He stated that this is not how a monopolist behaves.
Before the trial began, Google resolved allegations from the dating app company Match. The tech company also settled antitrust claims made by US states and consumers, but the details of the agreement have not been disclosed.
In 2020, Epic filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, but in September 2021, a US judge mostly sided with Apple.
Epic has appealed to the US supreme court to bring back important allegations in the legal battle against Apple, while Apple is contesting a decision in favor of Epic that calls for altering App Store regulations.