Fortnite maker Epic Games wins antitrust case against Google

In a significant legal victory, Epic Games, the developer behind Fortnite, has emerged successful in its high-profile antitrust trial against Google, challenging the alleged monopoly of Play Store. The jury’s unanimous decision, following over a month of trial proceedings, marks a potential turning point that could reshape the entire app store landscape. 

Epic accused Google of suppressing competitors and imposing steep fees of up to 30% on app developers , a policy that directly affects the profitability of popular games and apps, including those involving Fortnite accounts. The court is set to address remedies in January, and if the ruling stands, it may empower developers with greater influence over app distribution and profitability.

The legal battle, spanning three years, concludes with a blow to Google, which manages one of the world’s largest app stores. Google, expressing its intention to appeal, maintains its commitment to defending the Android business model. 

“We plan to challenge the verdict. Android and Google Play provide more choice and openness than any other major mobile platform. The trial made clear that we compete fiercely with Apple and its App Store, as well as app stores on Android devices and gaming consoles. We will continue to defend the Android business model and remain deeply committed to our users, partners, and the broader Android ecosystem,” said Wilson White, Google VP, Government Affairs & Public Policy.

Epic Games, in a statement, declared the verdict a win for app developers and consumers globally, asserting that Google’s app store practices are illegal and exploit its monopoly position.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney celebrated the ruling on social media, denouncing “the Google Play monopoly.” 

The trial highlighted allegations, including the illegal tying of Google’s Play store and billing service, and the systematic blocking of alternative app stores. The impact on Google’s revenue from its Play store, while smaller than its search business, is symbolically significant as the primary gatekeeper to billions of mobile devices. The trial also brought forth sensational claims, including Google’s alleged deletion of texts and internal messages to conceal anticompetitive behavior.

Written by Maya Robertson


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