In a landmark decision, Epic Games triumphed over Google in a recent antitrust lawsuit, marking a significant moment in the ongoing debate over Big Tech’s dominance. This case, contrasting sharply with Epic’s earlier loss to Apple, highlights the nuanced legal landscape surrounding tech giants and their control over digital marketplaces.
The jury found Google guilty of breaking competition laws in managing its app store, particularly regarding its app store and billing services. This verdict is a substantial setback for Google and reflects growing concerns about Big Tech’s tight grip on pricing and payment processes on their platforms.
Epic Games’ revolt against Google’s payment-sharing system began in 2020, when they modified Fortnite to enable direct payments to Epic, bypassing the app store’s system. Google’s response, similar to Apple’s, was to remove Fortnite from their store, leading to Epic’s lawsuit under the Sherman Antitrust Act.
The distinction in Epic’s cases against Apple and Google lies in the fact that Epic couldn’t prove Apple as a monopolist, the jury in the Google case identified illegal practices, such as ‘Project Hug’. This initiative involved Google paying off competitors like Samsung and game developers to prioritize Google Play, which the jury deemed anticompetitive.
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