Epic Games Wins Antitrust Case Against Google After San Francisco Jury Finds that An Illegal Monopoly Existed

Epic Games has won a lawsuit against the smartphone market leader.

Epic Games Wins Antitrust Case Against Google After San Francisco Jury Finds that An Illegal Monopoly Existed

SUMMARY

  • Epic Games is one of the most famous names in the gaming world.
  • Epic Games recently battled Google in court regarding Play Store's unfair policies in order to squash competition from other Android stores.
  • As of November 11, Epic has emerged victorious in the legal tussle and it the ruling stands, Google may have to change a lot of its policies for the Play Store.
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Epic Games is one of the most famous names in the gaming world. Fortnite‘s success in the battle-royal genre and the free games available on the Epic Games Store have done wonders for the company’s popularity. Hardly anyone is not influenced by Epic’s success as a developer, publisher, and platform owner.

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Google is another company that is king regarding search engine services and the Android Ecosystem, among many other areas like the Chrome Web Browser and the G Workspace. The two mammoths went against each other when Epic stated that the Play Store owner had guidelines and rules for the Play Store that were causing undue financial stress on developers. The trial took place in November, and the Epic won after the trial went on for four weeks.

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Why Did Google vs Epic Games Happen?

Epic Games is one of the most well-known developer, publisher and platform-owner in the gaming industry.
Epic Games is among the gaming industry’s most well-known developers, publishers, and platform owners.

Reuters reported the legal battle. As mentioned, the trial commenced in November, as Epic stated that Google’s Policies for its Play Store were established to create an illegal monopoly. As per Epic, this was against Federal Antitrust Laws. It was also stated that Alphabet Incorporated’s subsidiary charged developers an exorbitant 30% fee for publishing their apps on the Play Store.

This was allegedly done to squash competition, and Epic also claimed that it led to a downgrade in the quality of apps pushed to the platform thanks to the additional financial stress. Epic’s rival was ready with a rebuttal and stated that Epic had been breaching policies and not keeping accurate to established contracts. The former had also alleged that the filing is based on the engineered belief that Alphabet Incorporated’s Subsidiary does not exist with Apple on the same playing field as a competitor. In the official court filing which Epic submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, it stated that:

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As a result of its anticompetitive acts, Google faces no meaningful competition or threat of competition,

While there were mentions of the 30% fee imposed upon developers on the Play Store, the legal action does not intend for Epic to receive compensation in terms of finances. The ruling, which currently stands as a consequence of the lawsuit, could uproot Play Store’s policies as a platform. While it is unclear what must change with the Play Store to comply with the ruling, the decision will be rolled out in January 2024.

Epic Games' Fortnite mobile was pulled from Play Store and App Store in 2020.
Epic Games’ Fortnite mobile was pulled from the Play Store and App Store in 2020.

As of August 2023, Android holds the majority of the market share regarding smartphones. Considering how most Android phones are shipped with Play Store pre-installed, it is the go-to platform for installing free and paid apps and games for the average user. The ruling has the potential to give developers a lot more control and influence over their products.

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Epic’s founder and CEO also shared the ruling and the company’s success with it on the social media platform Twitter as he visibly bashed Google for its unfair practices.

Sweeney stated that:

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Victory over Google! After 4 weeks of detailed court testimony, the California jury found against the Google Play monopoly on all counts.

The tweet continued:

The Court’s work on remedies will start in January. Thanks for everyone’s support and faith! Free Fortnite!

Before this, Epic lost a court battle against the Apple App Store in 2020. This occurred when Fortnite was banished from the App Store and Apple Play Store when the game tried to set up its payment system. At the time, Apple won nine out of 10 counts. Three years later, Epic has finally shaken hands with Victory, and perhaps all of this will lead to Google relaxing its fees and policies.

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It is also worth noting that the Apple Play Store may undergo a similar shift to keep the playing ground level for both smartphone ecosystem giants. And all this may lead to the loved Battle Royale re-entering the App and Play Store. Fortnite is available to play for free on macOS, Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Android, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5.

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Written by Sparsh Jaimini

Sparsh Jaimini Sharma is a video games enthusiast and a Games Writer. A true white-blooded Madridsta. He is often seen grinding away at EAFC 24's Ultimate team and learning to code when he is not writing. A Batman fan and Arkham Games connoisseur. He is the quintessential DC aficionado.