(VitalNews.org) – A new court battle between Epic Games, creators of the popular game Fortnite, and tech giant Google could mean good news for those who use Android devices as Google loses its battle to maintain an app store monopoly.
The dispute began over the fact that the App Store and Google Play Store both require companies using the storefronts to also use the app stores’ payment systems, which means game purchases are usually much more expensive as Apple and Google take their cut. An older example of this system can be seen on the streaming website Twitch, which charges significantly more when users purchase subs from the mobile app rather than from a desktop computer.
This could change for Apple and Google on Android devices. Although Epic Games did not win its case against Apple because of a difference in payment systems operations, a jury did rule in their favor against Google, determining that the tech giant used its influence to transform the billing service on Google Play into a monopoly.
The reason Google didn’t win is because of hidden distribution agreements and models for sharing revenue with big phone and game developers designed to suppress competitors in other stores. The lawsuit argued that Google took such measures in response to Epic Games, which was targeted by the tech giant in order to hinder competition.
Epic Games sued Google back in 2020, accusing the company of breaking the law by finding ways to bring an advantage to its app store over its rivals. The Google Play Store is used by hundreds of millions of customers to purchase and install apps onto their smartphones, which are also powered by Google’s very own Android software.
The recent ruling against Google was described by Epic Games as “a win for all app developers and customers.” The Fortnite creators say the decision proves that the Google Play Store implements illegal practices, abusing “their monopoly to extract exorbitant fees,” stifling competition and reducing innovation.
In a statement about the verdict, Google claims the trial only made it clear that the company competes “fiercely with Apple and its App Store” and other app stores. The company said they “will continue to defend the Android business model” while maintaining a commitment to “users, partners, and the broader Androidht ecosystem.” Google plans on appealing the court’s decision.
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