Epic Games Scores Major Victory Against Google in Antitrust Lawsuit

In a groundbreaking development, Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, has emerged victorious in its antitrust lawsuit against Google.

The jury’s ruling on Monday declared Google’s Play Store a monopoly, citing its distribution power and engaging in anticompetitive conduct.

The lawsuit, filed in 2020 alongside a similar action against Apple, alleged abuse of power by both tech giants in their respective application stores.

Epic’s high-profile campaign, including a video remake of Apple’s iconic 1984 Macintosh Super Bowl ad, drew attention to what they perceived as an abuse of power.

Epic Games Scores Major Victory Against Google in Antitrust Lawsuit

While Apple largely won its legal battle against Epic in 2021, Google found itself in a different situation. The trial uncovered secret deals between Google, handset makers, and major video game developers designed to stifle the growth of rival app stores. This revelation played a pivotal role in the jury’s decision.

The impact of this verdict extends beyond the courtroom, potentially reshaping the landscape for streaming services. The ruling opens the door for these services to offer subscriptions without being subjected to the 30% commission on all subscriptions and sales made on Android.

Epic Games, expressing satisfaction with the outcome, sees the verdict as a win for app developers and consumers globally.

According to an Epic spokesperson, the decision proves that Google’s app store practices are illegal, citing the abuse of monopoly power to extract exorbitant fees, stifle competition, and hinder innovation.

Google, however, plans to challenge the verdict. Wilson White, Vice President of Government Affairs and Policy for the search giant, emphasized that Android and Google Play provide more choice and openness than other major mobile platforms. He stated that the trial highlighted Google’s fierce competition with Apple and other app stores.

This legal blow comes as Google concludes a separate antitrust case against the U.S. Department of Justice, which alleged monopoly powers in the search business. The outcome of this case adds complexity to the regulatory challenges faced by tech giants.

Epic Games Scores Major Victory Against Google in Antitrust Lawsuit

Epic Games, uniquely positioned due to Fortnite’s popularity, didn’t necessarily rely on either app store.

In 2020, to circumvent the 15% fee imposed by both Apple and Google, Epic introduced a direct payment system for the game. This move led to Fortnite being removed from both stores, prompting Epic to file its lawsuit promptly.

While Epic did not seek monetary damages, the lawsuit aims for a change in how Google operates its app store. The next step involves Judge James Donato determining damages in this long-awaited legal resolution.

The ramifications of this decision are likely to reverberate throughout the tech industry, influencing how app stores operate and compete in the future.

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