Tech giant Google has suffered a major blow as a jury has determined that the company was operating an illegal monopoly on Android devices through its Google Play storefront. In a recent lawsuit filed by Epic Games, the jury concluded that Google had abused its app store and billing services to harm companies like Epic Games and that its distribution agreements with video game publishers were monopolistic.
The trial brought to light several shocking details surrounding Google’s practices. It was revealed that the tech giant had destroyed evidence and held secret backroom deals with smartphone companies and game publishers. One particularly alarming allegation was that Google had spent billions in an attempt to bribe companies like Activision to deter them from launching rival app stores.
Epic Games, the creator of popular game Fortnite, had long claimed that Google’s app store practices were illegal. The company argued that Google’s fees were exorbitant, stifling competition and reducing innovation in the mobile gaming space.
The verdict in the Epic v. Google case stands in contrast to Epic’s case against Apple. While Apple was not deemed a monopoly in that lawsuit, Google has now been found guilty of the same offense. This outcome has significant implications for the mobile gaming industry, with potential benefits for companies like Microsoft.
Microsoft has already hinted at leveraging popular mobile games like Candy Crush, Call of Duty, and Diablo Immortals to open its own game store on portable devices. If Google’s monopoly is curtailed, Microsoft could seize the opportunity to establish itself as a major player in the mobile gaming market.
In addition to this case, European Union regulators have been pressuring both Apple and Google to open their mobile platforms to competitors. New regulations demanding this are set to come into effect in 2024. The outcome of Epic Games’ lawsuit against Google could potentially expedite this process and lead to greater competition in the app store market.
In response to their victory, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney expressed his gratitude and celebrated the outcome on Twitter. This win against Google is seen as a significant achievement for Epic Games and a step towards challenging the dominance of tech giants in the mobile gaming industry.