Epic battle: Google guilty of running illegal app store monopoly

Epic Games has emerged victorious in its legal battle against Google as the jury in the Epic v. Google case unanimously declared that Google has turned its Google Play app store and Google Play Billing service into an illegal monopoly. This landmark verdict comes three years after Fortnite-maker Epic Games filed a lawsuit against both Apple and Google, alleging illegal app store monopolies.The jury's decision, delivered after just a few hours of deliberation, affirmed that Google holds monopoly power in the Android app distribution markets and in-app billing services markets. Furthermore, the jury found that Google engaged in anticompetitive behavior in these markets, causing injury to Epic Games. The verdict highlighted an illegal tie between Google's Google Play app store and its Google Play Billing payment services, along with anticompetitive elements in its distribution agreements, Project Hug deals with game developers, and arrangements with OEMs.Google's affairs and public policy VP Wilson White announced the company's intent to appeal: "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." In response to the verdict, Epic Games issued a statement on its company blog, declaring the outcome a victory for all app developers and consumers globally. Epic Games said the verdict is a win for all app developers and consumers around the world. "It proves that Google's app store practices are illegal, and they abuse their monopoly to extract exorbitant fees, stifle competition, and reduce innovation."The future of Google's app store now rests in the hands of Judge James Donato, who will determine the appropriate remedies for the case. Epic Games did not seek monetary damages but aims for a court ruling granting every app developer the freedom to introduce their own app stores and billing systems on Android.