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Google loses case against Epic Games as jury sees ‘illegal monopoly’

Google loses case against Epic Games as jury sees ‘illegal monopoly’

Game maker Epic Games recently won a legal dispute with Google that has been dragging on since 2020. In a recent ruling, the jury confirmed that the tech giant has an illegal monopoly on payment methods through its app store, Google Play, thwarting other payment systems.

Epic Games, known for Fortnite, and Google have been fighting a legal battle since 2020 surrounding a ban on proprietary payment methods in the tech giant’s app store, Google Play. The case arose after the game maker introduced its own payment system in Fortnite, banning the mobile version of the game directly from Google Play, as well as the Apple App Store.

Google Play monopoly

According to Epic Games, app developers are required to use the functionality in Google Play or the App Store for in-game payments. For their income from these payments, they are required to pay up to 30 percent in commission. The game maker considers this commission too high and too monopolistic.

Epic Games indicated in the dispute that Google Play and the Apple App Store are doing everything in their power to thwart competition in this way. This is done by linking the app store to a payment service and mandating its use for app developers.

Jury decision success for Epic Games

It was not until early November 2023 that the conflict with Google Play finally came before the U.S. courts. In the jury decision, the jury vindicated Epic Games on all counts. In January, the U.S. judge will determine what adjustments Google must make. The game maker commented that it is delighted with the decision. According to the developer, the decision benefits both app developers and consumers.

Google did already announce an appeal, arguing that Android and Google Play have more choices for payment methods than comparable platforms.

Lawsuit against Apple lost

Epic Games earlier filed a similar lawsuit against Apple over the monopoly status of its App Store. In this case, the game developer was ruled against. However, the judge did rule that the tech giant had to make concessions.

Incidentally, the game maker is continuing its fight against Apple and has asked the federal U.S. Supreme Court for a final decision.

Read more: Google Play lets developers set their own deadline for verification