Fortnite Creators Score Major Victory, Could Change the App Landscape Forever

Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, won a lawsuit against Google in which the development studio accused Google Play of monopolizing the market and charging too much for its app distribution services

by Sededin Dedovic
Fortnite Creators Score Major Victory, Could Change the App Landscape Forever
© Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

In a landmark decision that could reshape the entire app market, a California jury has sided with Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, in their antitrust lawsuit against Google. The jury unanimously found that Google Play operates as an illegal monopoly, supporting Epic's claims that the tech giant abused its market dominance to stifle competition and charge developers exorbitant fees.

The ruling marks a significant blow to Google, which has faced increasing scrutiny over its control over the Android app ecosystem. The company's Play Store is the single source for installing apps on most Android devices, giving it enormous power over developers and consumers.

Epic claimed that Google used this power to unfairly disadvantage competitors and extract excessive fees of up to 30% for in-app purchases.

"Victory over Google"

Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney welcomed the jury's decision with enthusiasm.

"Victory over 'Google'! After four weeks of trial and testimony, a jury in California has ruled against Google on all counts," Sweeney said on the X Network. "The court will begin working on remedies in January." However, Google remains defiant and has vowed to appeal the ruling.

"We will continue to defend our business model and remain committed to our users, partners and the broader Android ecosystem," said Google's vice president of public affairs, Wilson White.

Fierce battle of legal teams

The trial itself was fierce, with both sides presenting their arguments for weeks.

Epic's lawyers painted a picture of the tech giant actively suppressing competition and exploiting its market power. They argued that Google's requirement that developers use both its Play Store and billing service was anti-competitive and designed to lock them into an unfavorable ecosystem.

Google, on the other hand, has defended its practices, arguing that its fees are fair and necessary to maintain a safe and reliable platform for users. They also claimed that Epic's own attempts to circumvent their system by offering direct payment options violated their terms of service.

With the jury already out, the court will begin considering remedies for Google's antitrust violations. This could potentially include forcing Google to open up its app store and billing system to competition, reducing its fees, or even creating a separate app store for alternative payment options. .

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