Huge win for Epic Games in their court case against Google. The California court decided that Google’s Play app store operated as an illegal monopoly and the case also challenged the transaction fees of up to 30% that Google imposes on Android app developers.
Fast Key Highlights:
1) It’s still unclear what the penalty will be, court won’t rule on this till January
2) There’s speculation in the media that this could lead to forcing Google to offer alternative app stores
3) Google ironically used privacy measures (self-deleting messages) to hide the anti-competative behavior internally. (see below)
4) Epic filed a similar antitrust case against Apple in 2020, but a US judge ruled in favor of Apple in 2021
5) Some speculate it could force payments to be separated from app delivery, which would be a huge win for Nostr Bitcoin apps
Very Brief Background:
The court case originally began when Epic Games began collecting payments from users directly, bypassing Apple and Google’s steep fees. As backlash, the two companies banned Epic’s apps from their respective app stores. So Epic took it to court. First the Apple ruling went against them, but now the Google one is in their favor.
Why Google but Not Apple?
The big difference between the Google case and the Apple one was revenue sharing deals between Google and various other gaming industry participants such as the game developers and even the smartphone makers themselves. Epic’s lawyers were able to clearly demonstrate that “Project Hug”, which involved both direct investment in games and promotional benefits, was designed to shut out competition. This was the key evidence and arguments missing from the Apple case.
Ultimately, the full effects of what this ruling means are still unclear and most internet talk is now just speculation.
The judge in the California court case scolded Google during the trial for deleting many internal chats that would have incriminated the company. The ultimate ironic move for a company whose past CEO Eric Schmidt claimed “if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
We do not support the government breaking up private companies. However, we do not consider Google fully private due to massive government funding, government contracts, a political revolving door of staff, and overall political involvement of the organization. Please see articles our previous work on Google’s censorship, as well as additional articles from James Corbett and Blitz Liberty on this issue.