In a groundbreaking victory for Epic Games, the jury in the Epic v. Google case has unanimously declared that Google is guilty of operating an illegal monopoly in its Google Play app store and Google Play Billing service. This verdict comes three years after Epic Games filed lawsuits against both Apple and Google, alleging that the tech giants were running unlawful app store monopolies.
After just a few hours of deliberation, the jury delivered a resounding yes to every crucial question posed to them. They found that Google indeed held monopoly power in the Android app distribution and in-app billing services markets. Moreover, the jury determined that Google engaged in anticompetitive practices in these markets, causing harm to Epic Games. The verdict also identified an illegal tie between Google’s Google Play app store and its Google Play Billing payment services.
Wilson White, Google’s vice president of affairs and public policy, expressed the company’s intention to appeal the verdict, emphasizing their fierce competition with Apple and other app stores. However, the jury’s decision marks a significant win for Epic Games, especially considering their previous loss against Apple two years ago.
The Epic v. Google case shed light on undisclosed revenue-sharing agreements between Google, smartphone manufacturers, and major game developers. These deals, believed internally by Google executives to suppress rival app stores, showcased the tech giant’s apprehension towards Epic Games. Unlike the Apple ruling, this case was decided by a jury, adding to its historical significance.
Additionally, you might be interested in reading some of our other recent articles:
- Tiny VR Goggles for Mice: A Peek into the Rodent Mind
- Apple’s Refreshing Changes to iPad Lineup: A Clearer Path Ahead
In response to the verdict, Epic Games, in a blog post, stated, “Today’s verdict is a win for all app developers and consumers around the world. It proves that Google’s app store practices are illegal and they abuse their monopoly to extract exorbitant fees, stifle competition and reduce innovation.”
The outcome of the case remains to be fully realized, as Judge James Donato will decide on the appropriate remedies. While Epic did not seek monetary damages, the company aims to establish the principle that every app developer should have the freedom to introduce their own app stores and billing systems on Android.
The upcoming meeting in January between both parties and Judge Donato will discuss potential remedies. However, it’s worth noting that the judge has already expressed his reluctance to grant an additional anti-circumvention provision as requested by Epic, emphasizing that such measures are unnecessary as parties can return to court if issues persist.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has hinted at substantial financial gains for the company if relieved from paying Google’s fees, suggesting potential earnings in the range of hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars. The final chapter of this legal battle will unfold as Judge Donato decides the future course of app store practices on the Android platform.