Apple’s Turn: Epic Games’ Win Over Google Adds Pressure as App Store Battle Continues

Epic Games Secures Victory Against Google in Antitrust Case

In a landmark court decision, Epic Games scored a significant legal win against Google, with a jury ruling that the company’s Play Store had been operated in an anti-competitive manner. The verdict comes after a similar case against Apple in 2021, where Epic Games mostly lost. This conflicting outcome puts Apple under renewed pressure.

The core of the dispute lies in the rules set by Apple and Google for developers who have their apps in the App Store and Play Store. Both tech giants take a cut of any in-app purchases made and prevent developers from offering their own app stores, claims Epic Games. The company argues that this ban constitutes illegal anti-competitive behavior.

While the jury found Google guilty of running an illegal monopoly through the Play Store and Play Billing, the judge will now decide the appropriate actions to resolve the issue. Google, however, plans to appeal the verdict, adding further uncertainty to the outcome.

This victory against Google presents a stark difference from the case against Apple, where the judge ruled that the App Store was not a monopoly, but demanded Apple to lift the ban on developers steering users to other payment systems.

The conflicting rulings in the cases against Apple and Google raise questions about the legality of running app stores in such a manner. It is expected that one of the decisions will be overturned on appeal. The US Department of Justice and several states support Epic’s position, leading to further legal challenges for Apple.

In response, Apple appears to be softening its antitrust stance, making plans to allow competing app stores in Europe, and possibly in the US as well. The company has already made significant changes on several antitrust issues, indicating a realization that the cost of permitting competition is likely very low.

As the legal battles continue, it remains to be seen how these landmark decisions will shape the future of app store operations and antitrust regulations in the tech industry.