Federal Jury Finds Google’s Store Practices Anticompetitive

A federal jury has ruled that Google’s Android app store practices constitute anticompetitive barriers, a significant legal defeat for the tech giant.

After a four-week trial, the nine-person jury unanimously decided that Google’s Play Store, a primary app source for Android users, engaged in practices harmful to smartphone owners and software developers.

The verdict was reached following three hours of deliberation.

Epic Games’ Lawsuit Against Google

Epic Games, the developer behind Fortnite, initiated the lawsuit nearly three years ago, accusing Google of shielding its store from competition.

“Today’s verdict is a win for all app developers and consumers around the world,” Epic Games stated.

The company alleged that Google abused its monopoly to impose excessive fees, stifle competition, and reduce innovation.

The Core of Epic’s Allegations

Epic’s suit under the Sherman Act claimed Google created barriers that prevented competing app distribution methods, thereby maintaining a market monopoly and eliminating consumer choice.

Google reportedly charges a commission of 15% to 30% on digital transactions within apps.

The jury’s decision contrasts with a similar case involving Apple, where a federal judge ruled in favor of Apple. Unlike Apple, which prohibits downloading apps from other stores on iPhones, Android allows such practices. However, the jury saw Google’s situation differently.

Upcoming Hearings and Google’s Response

U.S. District Judge James Donato, who presided over the trial, will determine the necessary actions for Google to rectify its Play Store practices, with hearings scheduled for early January.

Google plans to challenge the verdict, emphasizing the competitive and open nature of its Play Store and Android platform.

“We will continue to defend the Android business model,” said Wilson White, VP of Government Affairs & Public Policy at Google.

With information from Fox News.

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