Jury rules against Google in app store antitrust lawsuit

 December 13, 2023

A jury in California ruled against Google in an antitrust lawsuit on Tuesday.

The unanimous ruling came down in favor of Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, over the app store's monopolizing practices.

The decision

"The jury found for Epic Games on all 11 questions it was asked to evaluate, including over the existence of an antitrust market, Google’s anticompetitive conduct, and if Google’s violation of antitrust laws injured Epic Games," the Hill reported.

"The verdict caps off a three-year legal battle between Epic Games and Google after the game developing company accused Google of shielding its Play Store from competition to continue making billions in profits, The Associated Press reported. Google collects a commission anywhere from 15 percent to 30 percent on digital purchases within apps, the news wire said," it added.

The deliberation

"The jury reached its decision with just three hours of deliberation after listening to two hours of closing arguments from the lawyers on the opposing sides of the case," PBS reported.

"They sided with Epic, whose lawyer depicted Google as a ruthless bully that deploys a 'bribe and block' strategy to discourage competition against its Play Store for Android apps," it continued.

Appeal expected

"Google said it will appeal the decision. But Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter says the search giant faces an 'uphill battle,'" the Associated Press reported.

"While remedies Google must enact haven't yet been decided, Pachter said he believes that its rivals will focus on the fee the company charges developers in its store," it noted.

In addition to Google, Apple has been sued over similar practices and remains in the appeals process. Experts predict a similar outcome in Apple's case following the Google ruling.

The outcome could hurt the App Store's income but Google's parent company Alphabet doesn't appear too worried about the ruling.

The company already owns a massive share of the search market, along with a variety of other services that make up the larger bulk of its profits.

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