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Epic vs. Google Verdict Is a Resounding Win for Fortnite's Developer

The Epic vs. Google verdict is in, and it's a resounding victory for the developer Fortnite. A jury found that Google used it monopoly power on Android to injure Epic, turning the tables in the developer's years-long series of legal battles. The news was first reported by
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It's unclear what the result will mean for Epic and Google in the long-term; but in the short-term, it's a sharp rebuke against the entrenched ecosystem on Android, where Google can essentially collect a tax from any developer wanting to use it. Epic is hoping to overturn this system and allow developers to introduce their own payment platforms, which stands to earn them hundred of millions or even billions of dollars in additional revenue.

Victory over Google! After 4 weeks of detailed court testimony, the California jury found against the Google Play monopoly on all counts. The Court’s work on remedies will start in January. Thanks for everyone’s support and faith! Free Fortnite!
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— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic)
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Epic's suits against Apple have been
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, with Apple even managing to successfully
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. But in the Google case, the jury found that the tech giant has an anticompetitive monopoly in the app distribution market, and that there's an illegal tie between the Google Play app store and the Google Play billing service.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeny quickly took to X/Twitter to celebrate the win in court. "Victory over Google! After 4 weeks of detailed court testimony, the California jury found against the Google Play monopoly on all counts. The Court’s work on remedies will start in January. Thanks for everyone’s support and faith! Free Fortnite!"

Asked for comment, Epic pointed to its
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, where it called the verdict a "win for all app developers and consumers around the world."


Epic has been battling platform holders since 2020, when it infamously attempted to weaponize Fortnite players via what it called "Project Liberty." Its efforts include included a parody short based on Apple's famous 1984 commercial and a "Free Fortnite" campaign. Its main goal has been to strike down the large platform fees exacted by Apple and Google, which run as high as 30 percent.

A report by
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suggested that Epic had a real chance to win in its trial against Google, which began in November. It showed that Google used its monopoly power to favor certain developers, even going so far as to allow apps like Spotify to bypass Android's store fees entirely. The jury's decision was unaminously in favor of Epic.

"Over the course of the trial we saw evidence that Google was willing to pay billions of dollars to stifle alternative app stores by paying developers to abandon their own store efforts and direct distribution plans, and offering highly lucrative agreements with device manufacturers in exchange for excluding competing app stores," Epic wrote in its statement. T"hese deals were meant to cement Google’s dominance as the only app store in town — and it worked. More than 95% of apps are distributed through the Play Store on Android."

Google Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy Wilson White said in a statement sent to IGN that the tech giant plans to challenge the verdict.

"Android and Google Play provide more choice and openness than any other major mobile platform. The trial made clear that we compete fiercely with Apple and its App Store, as well as app stores on Android devices and gaming consoles. We will continue to defend the Android business model and remain deeply committed to our users, partners, and the broader Android ecosystem," he said.

Whether Epic finally gets its wish to be able to set up its own platform on Android will be up to Judge James Donato, who still has to rule on the case. Notably, Epic isn't trying to win monetary damages. Instead, it wants nothing less than a complete reordering of the app store system that has existed for more than a decade. Elsewhere, Fortnite remains officially unavailable on iPhone's App Store,
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Kat Bailey is IGN's News Director as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.

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