A huge lawsuit. Epic Games wins major antitrust case against Google

Grandiose lawsuit. Epic Games wins major antitrust case against Google

December 12, 10:59 Share:

The court made a decision in the case of Epic Games vs. Google (Photo:rafapressrafapress/Depositphotos)

California court rules in favor of Epic Games in antitrust case against Google. The latter was found guilty of anti-competitive actions and obtaining monopoly power.

On December 12, after three years of deliberation, the jury returned its verdict in the case of Epic v. Google. The jury unanimously supported all charges against Google. The company was found guilty of having monopoly power in the markets for the distribution of Android applications and the markets for in-app payment services.. Google was also found guilty of committing anti-competitive actions in these markets, which caused Epic Games to suffer.

The court ruling said Google created a monopoly by making Google Play the default app on Android devices and by entering into anti-competitive agreements with game developers and OEMs.

Epic Games' victory over Google could force Google to change its billing practices and reduce its royalties. The policy change would have major implications for the industry and provide new opportunities for smaller studios and independent game and app developers.

Read also: Prevaricating. Google provided false information and destroyed evidence in the Epic Games case — American court

“Today’s verdict is a victory for all consumer app developers around the world. This proves that Google's app store practices are illegal and they are abusing their monopoly to extract exorbitant fees, stifle competition, and stifle innovation,” Epic Games said in a blog post.

However, Google is not going to agree with the court's decision and is likely seeking to drag Epic Games into years of legal disputes. Google Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy Wilson White has already confirmed in a comment to The Verge that the company will challenge the California court's verdict.

“We plan to appeal the verdict. Android and Google Play offer more choice and openness than any other major mobile platform. Tests have shown that we compete fiercely with Apple and its App Store, as well as app stores for Android devices and game consoles,” he said.

Recall that Epic Games, the developer and publisher of video games and software that created Unreal Engine and Fortnite, filed antitrust lawsuits against tech giants Apple and Google in August 2020. The company accused the owners of Google Play and the App Store of using monopolistic practices in their app stores, due to which app and game developers are forced to pay high royalty rates and suffer from anti-competitive restrictions. This was preceded by an attempt by Epic Games to allow players to purchase game money in Fortnite directly, bypassing app stores and, accordingly, paying commissions to Google and Apple, and the further withdrawal of the hit game from Google Play and the App Store. Two years ago, Epic Games lost its case against Apple. At the beginning of 2023, Apple won an appeal in the case.

When considering the case of Google against Epic Games in the latter's antitrust lawsuit, many details emerged regarding Google's behavior in the market. In particular, it became known that Google allowed Spotify to pay 0% commission. It was also revealed that Google offered Epic Games a $147 million deal to launch its hit game Fortnite on the Android app store. In this way, the company sought to prevent other game developers and publishers from circumventing the payment of commissions, following the example of the Fortnite authors. Google estimated losses from this at $3.6 billion.

Read also: Together with Xbox. The Fortnite developer will donate all profits from the new season of the game to help Ukraine. The creators of Fortnite have raised $144 million for humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Difficulties in the company. Epic Games is cutting its workforce