Epic wins: Google App Store is officially an illegal monopoly

Epic Games has won a major victory in its legal battle against Google over the Google Play Store. A... Fragster | 12. December 2023

Epic Games has won a major victory in its legal battle against Google over the Google Play Store. A unanimous jury agreed that Google had turned its Play Store and billing services into an illegal monopoly.

This comes after Epic lost a similar lawsuit against Apple two years ago. The jury found that Google had engaged in illegal activity with its Play Store and billing services, as well as other anti-competitive behavior.

Epic prevails against Google

Epic Games has argued that Google had colluded with phone makers and game developers to prevent other app stores from gaining ground, and that Google was allegedly afraid of the Fortnite developer. Epic Games has been pushing for any app developer to be able to release their own app stores and billing services on Android without going to Google. This would have a significant impact on the games industry if it came to fruition.

If Epic Games is successful with its push for more freedom for app developers, the company could continue to sell V-Bucks to Fortnite players without paying the usage fee for Google’s billing services. This would allow the developer to expand its app marketplace to Android, where users could download more mobile games than just Fortnite. Likewise, other game developers would be able to deduct Google’s billing service fees from their in-game purchases, choose other options, and potentially bring their games to new app stores on Android devices.

Although Epic Games has won this battle, Google has decided to appeal the ruling, so the legal battle is far from over and could likely go on for several more rounds.
Nevertheless, Epic Games has released a statement calling the victory a “win for all app developers and consumers around the world”.

Google has tried to stay on top at all costs

The statement said that evidence presented during the trial showed that Google was willing to pay billions of dollars to hinder the chances of alternative app stores. Epic Games has reiterated its goals for the case and believes that laws and regulations are urgently needed to end or limit the dominance of Apple and Google.

The statement said: “The evidence presented in this case demonstrates the urgent need for laws and regulations that address Apple and Google’s stranglehold over smartphones, including the promising legislation currently in the works with the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill in the UK and the Digital Markets Act in the EU.”