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Epic Games wins antitrust trial against Google | Epic vs Google

Epic Games has won its trial against Google over antitrust claims, with the jury deeming Google Play and its billing system to be an illegal monopoly.

As reported by The Verge, the jury voted unanimously that Google’s requirement for developers to use its Play store’s payment system for all transactions was anti-competitive.

The trial began on November 3, and the jury voted yes to every question on the verdict form siding with Epic. It also deemed Google’s Project Hug initiative – in which developers were allegedly given financial incentives to stay on the Play Store – anti-competitive.

“Today’s verdict is a win for all app developers and consumers around the world,” Epic Games said in a statement. “It proves that Google’s app store practices were illegal and they abuse their monopoly to extract exorbitant fees, stifle competition and reduce innovation.

It continued: “The evidence presented in this case demonstrates the urgent need for legislation and regulations that address Apple and Google strangleholds over smartphones, including with promising legislation in process right now with the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill in the UK and the Digital Market Act in the EU.”

In response to the ruling, Google shared its plans to challenge the verdict.

“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,” said Wilson White, Google’s vice president of government affairs and public policy. “We will continue to defend the Android business model and remain deeply committed to our users, partners, and the broader Android ecosystem.”

Epic initially sued Google in 2020 after Fortnite was removed from the Play store for directing players to buy its virtual currency directly from Epic, avoiding the 30% transaction cut. In response, Google countersued, alleging Epic had breached its contract.

Earlier this year, the publisher lost its antitrust trial against Apple. Epic has since asked the Supreme Court to review the ruling, while Apple has asked the Supreme Court to strike down another lower court ruling that requires it to make changes to its App Store.

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