Epic Scores Big Win: Jury Unanimously Finds Google Guilty of Anticompetitive Behavior in Android App Market

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a landmark decision, a jury has unanimously found that Google holds a monopoly in the Android app distribution and in-app billing services markets. The jury also determined that Google engaged in anticompetitive behavior in these markets, causing injury to the game developer Epic. Furthermore, the jury concluded that Google’s distribution agreement, known as Project Hug, as well as its deals with game developers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), were all anticompetitive.

Google has announced its plans to appeal the verdict. Wilson White, Google’s vice president of affairs and public policy, stated that the trial showcased the company’s fierce competition with Apple and other app stores on Android devices and gaming consoles. White emphasized that Android and Google Play provide users with more choice and openness than any other major mobile platform. The company remains committed to defending the Android business model and supporting its users and partners.

The specific remedies and damages awarded to Epic remain to be decided by Judge James Donato. Although Epic did not seek monetary damages, the game developer is seeking a court order that would grant every app developer the freedom to introduce their own app stores and billing systems on Android. The judge will meet with both parties in January to discuss potential remedies.

However, Judge Donato has already indicated that he will not grant Epic’s additional request for an anti-circumvention provision. He made it clear that the intention is not to dictate the fees Google should charge for its products.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney suggested that the company stands to make significant financial gains if it no longer has to pay Google’s fee. However, the exact amount remains uncertain.

The verdict marks a significant moment in the ongoing discussion surrounding tech monopolies and antitrust regulations. The trial between Epic and Google highlights the increasing scrutiny that major tech companies face for their business practices.

In conclusion, a jury has found Google guilty of holding a monopoly in the Android app distribution and in-app billing services markets. Google’s anticompetitive behavior has been deemed injurious to Epic. The repercussions of this decision, including potential remedies and damages, will be determined by the presiding judge in the coming months.