Epic Games wins antitrust case against Google over Play app store
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Epic Games Wins Antitrust Battle Reshaping the App Store

In a landmark ruling, a California jury found that Google violated antitrust laws by maintaining a monopoly on the Android app store and engaging in anti-competitive practices. This victory for Epic Games, the maker of the popular game Fortnite, could have significant ramifications for the entire app store ecosystem.

The Background:

In 2020, Epic Games implemented a direct payment system within Fortnite for Android, bypassing Google’s payment system and avoiding the 30% cut that Google takes on in-app purchases. Google responded by removing Fortnite from the Play Store, accusing Epic of violating its terms of service.

Epic Games then filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging that the company was using its dominant market position to stifle competition and harm consumers. The lawsuit focused on two main points:

  • Google’s control over the Android app store: Google requires all Android devices to use the Play Store as their primary app store, giving Google a virtual monopoly on app distribution.
  • Google’s anti-steering policies: Google prohibits app developers from directing users to alternative payment systems within their apps.

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The Verdict:

After a month-long trial, the jury sided with Epic Games on all counts. The jury found that Google:

  • Maintained an illegal monopoly in the Android app store market.
  • Engaged in anti-competitive conduct by:
    Making it mandatory for app developers to utilize Google’s payment system.
    Preventing app developers from informing users about alternative payment options.
    Using its dominant market position to disadvantage competing app stores.

The Potential Implications:

The court’s decision could have a major impact on the mobile app ecosystem. Here are some potential consequences:

  • Increased competition: Google may be forced to open up its app store to competing app stores, giving developers more choices and potentially leading to lower prices for consumers.
  • More flexibility for developers: Developers may be able to use their own payment systems within their apps, allowing them to keep a larger share of their revenue.
  • Greater control for users: Users may have more control over where they download apps and how they pay for them.
  • Changes to Apple’s App Store: This ruling could put pressure on Apple, which operates a similar closed app store system, to make changes to its policies.


The Future of the App Store:

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We can’t tell yet what the lasting effects of this decision will be. However, it is clear that this is a major victory for Epic Games and could lead to significant changes in the way apps are distributed and monetized on mobile devices.


The antitrust battle between Epic Games and Google is far from over. Well,  recently Google has already announced that it will appeal the verdict. Also, we can expect that this case will probably keep moving through the courts for a few more years. But there’s no doubt that this will be a big deal for the app store business as well. The court’s call could totally change how apps get spread and make money on phones, maybe making the market more open and competitive.

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