Epic Games Wins The Antitrust Case Against Google Over Play App Store

The nine-person federal jury, which had been working on the case for the past three hours, found in favor of Epic Games. The decision was made on all eleven questions after a month-long trial, the most recent development in a three-year legal battle.

A jury concluded Monday that Google broke antitrust laws to take fees and limit competition from Epic Games and other developers on its Play mobile app store, a case that could change how thousands of businesses make money on Android.

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After three hours of deliberation, the nine-person federal jury sided with Epic Games on all 11 questions in a monthlong trial that was the latest turn in a three-year legal struggle. Epic, the maker of Fortnite, showed to the San Francisco jury that Google had monopolized the smartphone app store industry and engaged in anticompetitive behavior that hurt Epic. Google could be pushed to change its Play Store rules, allowing other companies to offer alternative app stores and helping developers dodge its in-app purchase cut. The ruling could affect the company’s app store commissions. Judge James Donato will decide Google’s conduct remedies early next year.

Google’s lawyers and executives claimed throughout the trial that competition from Apple’s App Store, which is more popular in the US, made an Android monopoly impossible.

The result boosted Epic’s yearslong effort to weaken Google and Apple’s control over the mobile app ecosystem two years after Epic mostly lost a similar against Apple, which both sides are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The developer filed a lawsuit against Google in 2020 to keep more in-app purchase revenue and launch an store that competed with Play.

Google was defending itself in another Washington, D.C., antitrust trial while battling Epic’s charges. The Department of Justice and dozens of states have accused the business of illegally maintaining a search and advertising monopoly in a blockbuster antitrust case that could change digital dominance next year. Google takes 15% of app subscription payments and up to 30% of purchases in popular Play Store apps. Google claims 99% of developers qualify for 15% or less in-app purchase fees. Epic sued Google and Apple in 2020 for exploiting their iOS and Android apps and digital content marketplaces. Apple and Google take a cut of all app sales, which developers call an unfair “tax“. The judge must decide how to repair jury damage.

Google actively promoted the Google Play app store as the sole way to pay for third-party apps like Fortnite and others throughout the experiment. Video games, dominate app store earnings and Epic Games has long sought funding outside of Google and Apple’s exorbitant commissions. Epic lost a similar case to Apple, a US judge ruled. Apple and Google claim that their app shop commissions are industry-standard and cover reach, transaction security, and detection. Google is defending itself in Washington federal court against Justice Department accusations of illegally protecting its search engine dominance. Listen to fresh songs only on JioSaavn.com.

The department’s complaint concentrates on Google’s massive revenue-sharing deals, in which Apple obtains a big amount of Google ad revenue by being its default search engine.