Three years after Fortnite maker Epic Games sued Apple and Google for allegedly creating illegal monopolies in app stores, Epic has registered a victory.
The jury in the case has just delivered its verdict — and found that Google turned its Google Play app store and Google Play billing service into an illegal monopoly. After only a few hours of deliberation, the jury unanimously answered yes to every question put before them – that Google has monopoly power in the Android app distribution markets and in-app billing services markets, that Google engaged in anti-competitive practices in those markets, and that Epic was harmed by this behavior.
They showed that Google has an illegal connection between its Google Play app store and Google Play billing services, too, and that its distribution agreement, Project Hug with game developers, and deals with OEMs were all anti-competitive.
Google’s vice president of public affairs and Policy Wilson White said the company plans to appeal the decision and that “the court made it clear that their competition is fierce with Apple and its App Store, as well as app stores on Android devices and game consoles”.
In a post on the company’s blog, Epic Games said: “Today’s decision is a win for all app developers and users around the world. This proves that Google’s app store practices are illegal and that they abuse their monopoly to charge exorbitant fees, stifle competition, and reduce innovation.”
It’s a landmark victory, especially since Epic lost most of its battle against Apple two years ago when Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that the battle was not about apps, while the battle against Google turned out quite differently.