HomeWinBuzzer NewsEpic v. Google Verdict: Jury Finds Play Store Practices Anti-Competitive

Epic v. Google Verdict: Jury Finds Play Store Practices Anti-Competitive

A jury has found that Google illegally maintains a monopoly over the Android app market through its Google Play app store and Google Play Billing service.

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The legal battle between Epic Games and Google has culminated in a pivotal judgment. A jury has determined that maintains an illegal through its Google Play app store and Google Play Billing service. The verdict, handed down without a disclosed date, emerged after mere hours of deliberation wherein jurors unanimously found Google to be in possession of monopoly power in the markets of Android app distribution and in-app billing services. Consequently, they concluded that Google's practices had inflicted harm upon .

Details of the Anticompetitive Practices

Throughout the trial, evidence presented showcased Google's alleged undertakings that aimed to stifle competition. These included exclusive revenue-sharing agreements with smartphone manufacturers and major game developers — undisclosed contracts colloquially dubbed within the company as Project Hug. Internal documents revealed Google's executives themselves perceived these deals as strategic measures to suppress rival . In addition, the jury identified an unlawful tie between Google's app store and its payment services. Such findings represent a stark contrast to Epic Games' previous legal confrontation with Apple, where the court largely sided with Apple.

Potential Consequences and Future Proceedings

The implications of the jury's verdict are significant, promising to influence the future operations of Google's app store. Although Epic Games has not sought monetary damages, the game developer's CEO, Tim Sweeney, hinted at the substantial financial benefits the company could reap should they no longer be obliged to pay Google's fees — a sum potentially rising into the billions. Nonetheless, the precise remedies await Judge James Donato's ruling, with discussions scheduled for the second week of January. Judge Donato has indicated a refusal to introduce an ‘anti-circumvention' provision suggested by Epic, expressing a preference to deal with any future infringements as they occur, rather than through preventative measures.

In terms of fees, the amount that Google may charge has not been decided by Judge Donato, and it's still uncertain whether the court will compel Google to allow app developers full autonomy in introducing their app stores and billing systems on . Google is anticipated to appeal the verdict. The tech company has not responded to requests for comment at the time of this report.

Epic Games' landmark legal achievement against Google sets the stage for potential sweeping changes across the app distribution landscape and intensifies the scrutiny on how tech giants manage their market influence.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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