Google Fails to Win Antitrust Case Against Fortnite Video Game Makers

Google faced a verdict, finding that it violated antitrust laws in its operation of the Play mobile app store. 

The case, brought by Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, may reshape the rules governing how businesses generate revenue on Google’s Android operating system. 

The nine-person jury unanimously sided with Epic Games on all 11 questions after a month-long trial, concluding a three-year legal battle.

The jury determined that Google maintained a monopoly in the smartphone app store market and engaged in anticompetitive conduct that harmed Epic Games. 

The decision could lead to changes in Google’s Play Store rules, potentially allowing competing app stores and making it easier for developers to avoid the fees imposed on in-app purchases.

Next year, Judge James Donato will decide the remedies needed to address Google’s conduct. 

Google has announced its intention to appeal the verdict, emphasizing its competition with Apple’s App Store. 

The ruling marks a victory for Epic Games in its efforts to challenge the influence of Google and Apple over the mobile app ecosystem.

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Epic Games Prevails in App Store Battle

google-fails-to-win-antitrust-case-against-fortnite-video-game-makers
Google faced a verdict, finding that it violated antitrust laws in its operation of the Play mobile app store.

Epic initiated the legal battle by allowing in-app purchases directly with Epic, bypassing Google’s rules, leading to the removal of Fortnite from the Play Store and the subsequent lawsuit. 

The jury found Google in violation of antitrust laws in both the Android Play Store and the in-app billing system.

The case against Google coincided with another antitrust trial in Washington, DC, where the Department of Justice and multiple states accused the tech giant of illegally maintaining a search and advertising monopoly. 

Google plans to appeal the recent verdict, stating it will “continue to defend the Android business model.”

The jury also raised concerns about Google’s efforts, including Project Hug, to pay large developers to remain on the Play Store, characterizing them as “bribes.” 

Additionally, Google’s agreements with Android phone makers, such as Samsung, were faulted for forcing the pre-installation of Google applications.

Epic Games celebrated the verdict in a blog post, calling it “a win for all app developers and consumers around the world.” 

The trial’s outcome may influence the broader landscape of app store practices and competition, with potential implications for other ongoing antitrust cases against major tech companies.

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