Fortnite developer Epic Games wins Google Play Store case

Fortnite’s developer Epic Games has won its case against Google after claiming the giant unlawfully made its Play Store dominant.

Epic sued Google in 2020, accusing it of a monopoly over the distribution of both apps and in-app billing, reports the BBC. The Play Store is used by hundreds of millions of people wanting to install apps on Android devices.

Google has said it will appeal after a United States jury sided with Epic Games.

Wilson White, vice-president of government affairs and public policy at Google, said: “Android and Google Play provide more choice and openness than any other major mobile platform.

“The trial made clear that we compete fiercely with Apple and its App Store, as well as app stores on Android devices and gaming consoles. We will continue to defend the Android business model and remain deeply committed to our users, partners, and the broader Android ecosystem.”

Epic Games chief executive Tim Sweeney welcomed the news. Writing on X, he said: “Victory over Google! After 4 weeks of detailed court testimony, the California jury found against the Google Play monopoly on all counts.”

Lawyers for both companies made their final comments on Monday. The case also challenged transaction fees of up to 30% that Google imposes on Android app developers.

Epic claimed Google “suppresses innovation and choice” through a “web of secretive, anticompetitive agreements”. Google countersued Epic for allegedly violating the company’s developmer agreement.

The tech giant has faced a number of anti-trust cases, settling similar claims from dating app Match before the Epic trial started. Epic filed a similar antitrust case against Apple in 2020, but a US judge largely ruled in favour of Apple in 2021.

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