Epic Victory: Jury Unanimously Rules Against Google in Antitrust Case

Epic scores big win against Google in antitrust showdown.

  • Epic secured a victory over Google in an antitrust case, challenging app marketplace norms.
  • The verdict questions Google’s app store practices and may reshape industry dynamics as Epic celebrates a win for global app developers and consumers.
  • Google will appeal the verdict, with Wilson White highlighting that Android and Google Play offer more choice and openness than other mobile platforms.

Epic, the creators of the popular game Fortnite, and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, have been locked in a legal battle for nearly three years. Epic sued Google for operating illegal app store monopolies. The Epic vs. Google lawsuit jury has now delivered its decision, and Epic has won. They discovered that Google had illegally monopolised its Google Play app store and Google Play Billing service.

Epic’s War on App Store Practices and Antitrust Allegations

Epic initiated the legal battle in 2020, accusing Google of violating federal and California state antitrust laws through its app store practices. It was part of Epic’s larger campaign against industry giants Apple and Google, which revolves around their alleged monopolistic control and exorbitant revenue cuts from in-app transactions.

Apple and Google have faced allegations of antitrust violations, primarily related to their insistence on users making payments through their proprietary systems, coupled with significant cuts from in-app revenues. While Apple and Google defend these practices, citing security concerns, Epic argues that such control stifles competition and innovation.

Epic’s Win and Future Regulation

Following the verdict, Epic issued a statement declaring the verdict as a victory for app developers and consumers globally. The company asserted that Google’s app store practices are illegal and amount to an abuse of monopoly power. Epic sees hope in upcoming regulations such as the UK’s Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill and the EU’s Digital Markets Act.

Google’s Response and Plans to Appeal

Google, not admitting defeat, intends to appeal the verdict. Wilson White, Google’s VP of Government Affairs & Public Policy, emphasised that Android and Google Play provide more choice and openness than other major mobile platforms. The tech giant remains committed to defending its business model and supporting the broader Android ecosystem.

It’s important to keep in mind that, unlike iOS, Google allows “sideloading” of apps from third parties on Android devices. However, the company advises against it, making the process more complex than Google Play.

Epic’s Multi-Front Battle

This victory over Google resembles Epic’s prior legal battle with Apple. While that case resulted in a mixed verdict in favour of Apple, we can say that Epic is fighting on multiple fronts, with both Apple and Google now in the sights.