Epic Games Exposes Google’s Monopoly In Court

Epic Games, known for the popular video game "Fortnite," has secured a significant victory over Google.

by Faruk Imamovic
Epic Games Exposes Google’s Monopoly In Court
© Getty Images News/Philip Pacheco

Epic Games, known for the popular video game "Fortnite," has secured a significant victory over Google. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney attributes this success to Google's extensive paper trail, which played a crucial role in the jury’s decision to label Google's app store practices as monopolistic.

Decoding the Jury's Decision

The federal jury's unanimous verdict, which marks the first major antitrust decision against a tech giant since the US government's case against Microsoft in the 1990s, found that Google held a monopoly in Android app distribution and in-app billing.

Furthermore, it concluded that Google engaged in illegal tactics to maintain its power, potentially reshaping the tech giant's app store business for years. Sweeney, in his interview with CNN, pointed to a plethora of emails presented during the four-week trial that revealed Google's internal discussions and strategies.

“They wrote things down to tell each other their smart ideas,” Sweeney said of the Google executives. “And they wrote things down to tell other people their accomplishments so that they would get a higher bonus, and they wrote things down to partners, and partners who received Google’s proposals wrote things down about what they thought Google was actually trying to accomplish.

That very clearly exposed all of their wrongdoing”.

Among the evidence presented was an email where a Google app store executive discussed persuading Riot Games to abandon plans for a rival Android app store, using incentives like marketing support.

Comparing Google and Apple's Approaches

Sweeney also contrasted Google's approach to documenting its business strategies with that of Apple. He noted that Apple "puts nothing in writing other than their final decisions and policy," making it challenging to gain insight into their competitive motives.

This difference in corporate communication culture, Sweeney suggested, partly explains the varying outcomes in Epic’s cases against the two tech giants. While Epic succeeded in its case against Google, its lawsuit against Apple resulted in a ruling that Apple is not a monopolist in app distribution on its devices, a decision upheld by a US district judge and a federal appeals court.