Google’s App Store Monopoly Ruled Illegal in Epic Win

Google's App Store Monopoly Ruled Illegal in Epic Win | Mr. Business Magazine

Epic Games emerges victorious in its legal battle against Google over alleged app store monopolies. The jury unanimously declares Google’s Google Play app store and billing service an illegal monopoly. The decision highlights Google’s anticompetitive actions in Android app distribution and in-app billing services, with specific mention of unfair ties and anticompetitive agreements. Google plans to appeal the verdict, emphasizing its competition with Apple and other platforms. Epic views the win as a triumph for global app developers and consumers, asserting that Google’s practices stifle competition and innovation. The historic ruling contrasts with Epic’s earlier loss against Apple, bringing attention to secret revenue-sharing deals and showcasing Google’s concerns about Epic’s influence.

The scope of Epic’s victory awaits Judge James Donato’s decision on potential remedies, as Epic seeks to establish freedom for app developers to introduce their own stores and billing systems on Android. The judge, however, rejects Epic’s request for an anti-circumvention provision. The legal dispute originated when Apple and Google removed Fortnite from their app stores due to policy violations, sparking a series of legal battles. Both tech giants argue that their app store practices prioritize safety and security. Google contends that Android allows users to download apps from third-party sources, unlike Apple’s more restrictive approach.

Immediate Agreement on Important Aspects:

The swift deliberation, taking just a few hours, resulted in unanimous agreement on key points: Google holds monopoly power in Android app distribution and in-app billing services, engaged in anticompetitive practices, and caused harm to Epic. The verdict also highlighted an illegal tie between Google’s app store and its billing payment services, along with anticompetitive aspects of distribution agreements and Project Hug deals.

While Google’s Vice President of Affairs and Public Policy, Wilson White, expressed the company’s intent to appeal, Epic Games celebrated the ruling as a win for app developers and consumers worldwide. Epic alleges that Google’s app store practices are not only illegal but also contribute to stifling competition, imposing exorbitant fees, and hindering innovation.

Epic’s Prior Loss: 

This victory stands out, particularly in contrast to Epic’s earlier loss against Apple, where the court deemed the matter unrelated to apps. The Epic v. Google case, however, delved into secret revenue-sharing deals, revealing Google’s apprehension about Epic’s influence. Unlike the Apple ruling, this decision was rendered by a jury.

The immediate implications of the victory remain unclear, as the judge, James Donato, will determine the appropriate remedies in January. Epic seeks a court directive allowing app developers the freedom to establish their own app stores and billing systems on Android. While Epic did not pursue monetary damages, CEO Tim Sweeney suggested potential savings of hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars if Google’s fees are waived.

Curious to learn more? Explore our articles on: Mr. Business Magazine

Share Now: