Epic and Match antitrust case against Google goes to court November 6

Epic and Match antitrust case against Google goes to court November 6

Epic and Match antitrust case against Google goes to court November 6

Epic Games and Match Group now have a court date for their antitrust lawsuit against Google. A judge in the Northern District of California has scheduled a jury trial to begin on November 6. Both Epic and Match accuse Google of abusing its control over Android app distribution through the Play Store by setting unfair fees and requirements for in-app purchases. There is also a lawsuit brought by 39 attorneys general and a class action lawsuit by customers seeking $4.7 billion in damages.

Epic sued Google in 2020 after the Android creator kicked out Fourteen days from the Play Store to let customers use an alternative in-app payment system. Match sued Google last year over the “exorbitant” store fee. Epic and Match consolidated their case and filed a motion last fall to expand their allegations, accusing Google of further antitrust violations by paying major developers hundreds of millions of dollars to keep their apps on the Play Store.

Unlike Epic’s partially successful lawsuit against Apple, this case needs to recognize that customers have a choice. While Apple requires all regular app downloads to go through the App Store, Android’s sideloading option allows customers to install software without downloading it from Google. The problem, as you might imagine, is that when the Play Store comes standard on many Android phones, these apps are both more difficult to install and less likely to be noticed.

Google denies abuse of power, arguing that the fees are necessary to maintain and invest in the Play Store. It claims that the incentive program doesn’t prohibit developers from launching third-party stores and that its portal competes fairly. In December, Google asked the court to deny the expanded motions because of timing and other issues.

Google has made some concessions, including a testing program for billing alternatives on the Play Store. However, this pilot still gives Google a share of every transaction, and it remains to be seen whether such moves will satisfy the court and regulators. In any case, the internet pioneer faces a number of other antitrust cases, including a 2020 Justice Department lawsuit. Even if Google wins against Epic and Match, it may not get away scot-free.

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