After a few hours of deliberation, the jury unanimously answered yes to every question put before them — that Google had monopoly power in the Android app distribution markets and the app billing service markets, that Google did anticompetitive things in those markets, and that Epic was injured by that conduct. They concluded that Google had an illegal nexus between its Google Play App Store and Google Play billing payment services, and that its distribution agreement, Project Hook agreements with game developers, and agreements with OEMs were all anti-competitive.
Wilson White, Google’s vp of affairs and public policy, said the company plans to appeal the ruling, adding that “the investigation made it clear that we compete fiercely with Apple and its App Store and app stores on Android devices and gaming consoles.” Read their full statement below.
In A post on its company blog, Epic Games said, “Today’s ruling is a win for all app developers and consumers around the world. This proves that Google’s App Store practices are illegal, and that they abuse their monopoly to overcharge, stifle competition, and stifle innovation.
Remember, we don’t know what There is an epic Actually still wins – that’s up to Judge James Donato, who will decide what the appropriate remedies are. Epic never sued for monetary damages; It wants the court to tell Google that every app developer has complete freedom to introduce its own app stores and its own billing systems on Android. Both sides will meet with Judge Donato in the second week of January to discuss possible solutions.
Judge Donato has already declared No Grant Epic’s request for an additional circular rule, as Epic lead attorney Gary Bornstein said on Nov. 28, “to make sure Google doesn’t reintroduce the same problems with some alternative creative solution.”
“We don’t ban you from breaking the law…if you have a problem, you can come back,” Donato said. He also said that Google does not want to decide what percentage to charge for its products.
Although Epic isn’t suing for damages, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has suggested that Epic could stand to make hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars if it doesn’t have to pay Google.
Here is the completed verdict form for jurors to fill out Epic v. Google:
Wilson White, Google VP, Government Affairs and Public Policy:
We plan to challenge the verdict. Android and Google Play offer more choice and openness than any other major mobile platform. The test made it clear that we are competing fiercely with Apple and its App Store and App Stores on Android devices and gaming consoles. We will continue to protect the Android business model and remain deeply committed to our users, partners and the broader Android ecosystem.
Updated December 11, 8:45PM ET: Statements from both Google and Epic Games and the final jury verdict were also included.