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Epic Games prevails in antitrust legal battle against Google’s Play Store

A federal jury, after three hours of deliberation, ruled in favor of Epic Games on all 11 questions in a monthlong trial against Google. The jury found that Google had violated antitrust laws by extracting fees and limiting competition from Epic Games and other developers on its Play mobile app store. This verdict has the potential to reshape how businesses generate revenue on Google’s Android operating system. Epic Games, known for the game Fortnite, argued that Google maintained a monopoly in the smartphone app store market and engaged in anticompetitive conduct. The ruling could compel Google to adjust its Play Store rules, potentially allowing other companies to offer competing app stores and making it easier for developers to bypass the commission collected from in-app purchases. The judge will decide on remedies early next year.

The trial underscored Epic’s efforts to challenge the dominance of Google and Apple in the mobile app ecosystem. This decision comes two years after Epic largely lost a similar case against Apple, a ruling both parties are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court. Epic, in filing the case against Google in 2020, aimed to retain more revenue from in-app purchases and establish an app store to compete with Google’s Play on the Android platform.

Throughout the trial, Google argued that it faced competition from Apple’s more popular App Store, making it improbable for it to have a monopoly on Android. The verdict is seen as a boost to Epic’s ongoing quest to reduce the control wielded by Google and Apple over the mobile app landscape. It could have a significant impact on Google’s ability to collect commissions from app store purchases.



Epic Games prevails over Google in landmark antitrust case: What it means  for app developers - Dexerto
Epic Games prevails over Google in landmark antitrust case: What it means for app developers

The ruling comes at a time when Google is simultaneously defending itself in another antitrust trial in Washington, D.C. The Department of Justice and multiple states have accused Google of illegally maintaining a search and advertising monopoly. The outcome of this landmark case could reshape the power dynamics in the tech industry when it is decided next year.

On Google’s Play Store, app makers are charged a 15% fee for customer payments related to app subscriptions and up to 30% for purchases within popular apps downloaded from the store. Google contends that 99% of developers qualify for a fee of 15% or lower on in-app purchases. The jury’s decision could potentially lead to changes in these fee structures and open up the market to increased competition.

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