Epic Games, the creator of popular video game Fortnite, is gearing up to take on tech giant Google in court on November 6th. The lawsuit accuses Google of running an illegal monopoly through its app store, with potentially far-reaching consequences for the future of the platform.
This legal battle comes after Epic’s previous lawsuit against Apple, which resulted in a ruling mostly in Apple’s favor. However, the lawsuit against Google faced several delays, ultimately leading to the upcoming trial. The outcome of this case could have a significant impact on Google’s app store, potentially shattering the alleged monopoly and lowering fees for both developers and users.
Epic alleges that Google makes it challenging for developers and users to avoid its app store fees, thereby presenting an unfair advantage for Google while driving up app prices. On the other hand, Google argues that it faces competition from Apple and defines the relevant market as a crucial point in the case.
Unlike the Apple case, the trial against Google will be decided by a jury, adding an extra layer of complexity. Interestingly, other parties, including 50 state attorneys general and Match Group, have already settled with Google over similar antitrust claims.
Epic seems determined not to settle unless the controversial “Google tax” is eliminated. Google, however, has not revealed if it has offered a settlement at all. Both sides have exchanged allegations of dirty tricks and anticompetitive behavior. Epic claims that Google paid off developers and even considered acquiring Epic to prevent other developers from leaving its app store.
The trial is anticipated to last approximately five weeks, with a verdict expected before the December holiday season. While the proceedings can be observed, there are restrictions in place to ensure the privacy of the jury members.
As the trial approaches, all eyes are on Epic Games and Google, with industry experts eagerly waiting to see the potential ramifications for the tech giant’s app store. Will Epic be able to break the alleged monopoly, leading to reduced fees for developers and users? Only time will tell.
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