In a landmark decision, a jury has ruled in favor of Epic Games in its legal battle against Google over the tech giant’s alleged app store monopoly. This victory mirrors a similar case involving Apple that Epic Games lost a few years ago, shedding light on the contentious issue of app store fees and market dominance.

Both Apple and Google, along with virtually all other app stores (with the more affordable Epic Games Store being a rare exception), typically impose a standard 30% fee on all sales. In an attempt to circumvent this practice within Fortnite, Epic Games introduced its own store, a move that faced opposition from Google, sparking a prolonged legal battle.

The recent verdict signifies a significant win for Epic Games on multiple fronts, as the jury found that Google indeed holds an app monopoly. However, Google intends to appeal the decision, indicating that the legal saga may not be concluded just yet. In a public statement, Epic expressed their satisfaction with the ruling, stating:

“Today’s verdict is a win for all app developers and consumers around the world. It proves that Google’s app store practices are illegal and they abuse their monopoly to extract exorbitant fees, stifle competition, and reduce innovation.”

The case draws striking parallels with the Apple dispute that Epic Games lost previously. Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, shared his perspective on the matter, noting that Apple’s actions also constitute a monopoly:

“I think the Apple case would be no less interesting if we could see all of their internal thoughts and deliberations, but Apple was not putting it in writing, whereas Google was. You know, I think Apple is… it’s a little bit unfortunate that in a lot of ways Apple’s restrictions on competition are absolute. Thou shalt not have a competing store on iOS and thou shalt not use a competing payment method. And I think Apple should be receiving at least as harsh antitrust scrutiny as Google.”

Sweeney further drew comparisons between Apple, Google, and Microsoft, stating that, in his opinion, the former two are more problematic:

“I’d say this is the thing that’s disappointed me the most with Apple and Google: even at the peak of the antitrust trial against Microsoft, Microsoft was awesome to developers. Microsoft has always been awesome to developers, always being respectful, giving developers a great deal and treating them as partners, you know? And so even as Microsoft was crushing corporate competitors, the developer experience was excellent. Google and Apple both treat developers as adversaries — they try to attack our revenue streams and prevent us from competing with their products.”

With Google’s loss likely to prompt more game developers and publishers to establish their own stores on Android to bypass Google’s fees, Microsoft is also gearing up to launch a mobile store soon. This decision is expected to be welcomed by those seeking alternatives to the dominant app store models.

Source: Gamereactor