Epic Games triumphs over Google in landmark antitrust battle

Epic Games has achieved a rather sensational victory in its protracted legal battle against Google over its app store policies. The federal jury’s unanimous decision was delivered after an exhaustive month-long trial in San Francisco.

At the core of this landmark verdict is the assertion that Google has systematically entrenched itself as a monopoly in the app store market. The trial further unraveled Google’s alleged anticompetitive strategies, laying bare clandestine revenue-sharing agreements with smartphone manufacturers and influential game developers. Epic Games, for its part, argued that these covert dealings were orchestrated to stifle competition, ensuring the Play Store’s dominance as the default app distribution platform on Android devices.

Central to the jury’s scrutiny were the undisclosed agreements between Google and major game developers, including industry behemoths like Activision Blizzard. The jury’s examination unveiled a pattern of strategic manoeuvres by Google, discouraging potential rivals from establishing their own app stores. This, as argued by Epic Games, perpetuated an ecosystem where competitors were effectively deterred from challenging the established status quo. A critical finding by the jury revolves around the illegal tie between Google’s Play Store and its billing payment services.

“This is an example of the greatness of the American justice system. A billion dollar company challenges a trillion dollar company over complex antitrust practices, and a jury of 9 citizens hears the testimony and renders a verdict. And here it is in writing,” Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, wrote in a post on X.

The roots of this legal conundrum trace back three years when Epic Games embarked on a dual-front legal battle against two tech behemoths, Google and Apple. At the heart of Epic’s contention lay the assertion that both these giants, with their app store policies, stifled competition and imposed exorbitant fees on developers. And in 2020, the legal drama began with Epic Games challenging Apple’s app store policies, alleging antitrust violations. It accused the tech giant of monopolizing the Android app distribution market for over a decade. Epic contended that Google engaged in anticompetitive conduct through undisclosed revenue-sharing deals and strategic maneuvers to dissuade potential competitors from launching their own app stores.

Read more at thetechportal.com

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