Epic Games wins legal battle against Google, accused of illegal monopoly

“Victory against Google! » In a message posted Monday, December 11 on X, Tim Sweeney, the general manager of Epic Games, is exultant

Epic Games wins legal battle against Google, accused of illegal monopoly

“Victory against Google! » In a message posted Monday, December 11 on X, Tim Sweeney, the general manager of Epic Games, is exultant. After four weeks of hearings, the San Francisco federal court ruled that Google, owned by Alphabet, abused the position of its application store, the Play Store, to the detriment of developers and consumers.

Epic Games, which notably publishes the video game Fortnite, began this legal battle against Google in the summer of 2020, arguing that the company was abusing a position described as monopolistic. Epic Games accuses the Mountain View firm of blocking any competition with the Play Store, the application store intended for smartphones using Google's Android operating system. The video game publisher notably denounces commissions which can range from 15% to 30% imposed on application developers.

The lawsuit was launched by Epic Games following the ousting of Fortnite from Google and Apple's online stores, after the implementation within the game of a secret payment system circumventing taxes from the technology giants . The California court that ruled against Google will begin work in January to determine what solutions to provide.

Google will appeal

This is a bitter setback for the company, which, like Apple, operates one of the world's largest application stores. It could be forced to give developers more control over their productions and the revenues they generate. “We will continue to defend the Android business model and remain deeply committed to our users, partners and the entire Android ecosystem,” Wilson White, a Google vice president, said in a statement Monday announcing that the company would appeal the decision.

In the summer of 2020, Epic Games also launched a complaint against Apple and its App Store, the application store intended for iPhone and iPad tablets, which imposes the same taxes as Google on developers. Apple is even one of the pioneers of the market and thus participated in imposing 30% taxes as benchmarks in the sector.

In September 2021, a judge largely ruled in favor of the apple brand. Epic Games has since appealed twice, but has failed to reverse the ruling. He then asked the US Supreme Court to look into the main accusations made.