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Jury Finds Google Violates Antitrust Laws with Play Store Rules

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Dec 12, 2023, 11:21 AM   by Rich Brome

A jury in San Francisco has sided with Epic Games in the drawn-out legal battle the company is fighting against Google's app store restrictions. The jury found that Google had maintained a monopoly in the smartphone app store market and engaged in anticompetitive conduct. Google requires that in-app purchases be made via its Play Store, where it takes a cut of up to 30%. This ongoing legal saga began when Epic tried to direct Fortnite players to an alternate payment platform for in-app purchases. Google also makes it difficult to offer competing app stores on Android. A judge will determine remedies early next year, although Google has already indicated it will appeal, a process that could take up to 18 months. Epic's case going forward is strengthened by the jury's resounding verdict that found against Google on all 11 questions of the case. If Epic eventually prevails, Google could be forced to alter its rules for the Play Store, for Google services required on new Android phones, and for alternate app stores. Epic is pursuing a similar case against Apple. Apple prevailed in the first trial, but that case is also being appealed.

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