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Federal jury declares Google Play Store a monopoly in Epic lawsuit

Google announced that it will appeal the ruling in response to the recent court decision. Wilson White, Google’s vice president of government affairs and public policy, stated that Android and Google Play offer more openness and choice than any other major mobile platform. He emphasized that Google competes fiercely with Apple and its App Store, as well as with app stores on Android devices and gaming consoles. Google is committed to defending the Android business model and supporting its users, partners, and the broader Android ecosystem.

A separate process next year will determine potential solutions that may be imposed on Google and its Play Store app storefront. This could lead to changes in how Google collects fees from developers or make it easier for Android users to access third-party app stores. It is important to note that, unlike iOS, Android does allow users to sideload apps via a third-party app storefront.

The legal battle began in 2020 when Epic offered players of its popular Fortnite game the opportunity to purchase in-game currency directly from Epic at a discounted price. This violated the rules of both Apple and Google, which allow them to take up to 30% of in-app revenue. As a result, both companies removed Fortnite from their app stores, prompting Epic to take legal action against them.

In the case of Epic v. Apple, Apple was not deemed a monopolist, unlike Google’s recent ruling. However, Google has echoed Apple’s complaint that Epic profited from the visibility of the Play Store without contributing to the platform’s operating costs.

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