A federal jury found on Monday night that Google's app marketplace is an unlawful monopoly, a significant ruling that may undermine Google's strong hold over its Android app store.
The decision in the protracted legal dispute between the internet behemoth and Epic Games, the creator of the popular video game "Fortnite," is a major win for those who have been critical of Google's policies and restrictions for its app store. The jury concluded that Google has illegally run a monopoly in the way it distributes Android applications and charges for them and that its actions in the app store violate US antitrust law.
In a widely followed federal trial, Epic and Google had been at odds for weeks over a variety of issues, including Google's in-app purchase fees and contract clauses that bar rival app shops from operating on Android devices.
The jury's verdict may be a blow to the operators of app stores, who have successfully defended their platforms against claims of monopoly made by users, developers of apps, and other opponents of big tech corporations for years.
Google stated in a statement that it would appeal the historic decision, which would have a significant impact on the company's app store operations.
Wilson White, Google's vice president of government affairs and public policy, stated that "Android and Google Play provide more choice and openness than any other major mobile platform." "It was evident from the trial that we are in serious competition with Apple and its App Store, as well as with the app shops for Android smartphones and gaming consoles. We are steadfastly devoted to our consumers, partners, and the larger Android ecosystem, and we will keep fighting for the Android business model."