Google: Read: Fortnite maker’s response on Google Play Store case settlement

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Google recently lost a legal battle with Fortnite maker Epic Games. The search engine company said it will challenge the verdict but before that, it offered a slew of changes related to the Play Store billing system, installation of apps and app stores in a settlement of a class action lawsuit, concluded in September. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, however, termed this “injustice to all Android users and developers.”
In a string of posts on X (formerly Twitter), Sweeney said that in a tentative settlement the States Attorneys General settled for a $700 million payout as opposed to $10.5 billion in antitrust damages identified previously.
What Epic Games CEO has to say
“The State Attorneys General settlement is an injustice to all Android users and developers. It endorses Google’s misleading and anticompetitive scare screens, which Google intentionally designed to disadvantage competing stores and direct downloads,” Sweeney said in a post.
“The settlement endorses Google’s 30% monopoly rent imposition, by replacing the anticompetitive Google Play Billing tie with a new anticompetitive Google-imposed “user choice billing” tie which adds a useless 26% Google Tax for payments they don’t process,” he added.
“The States’ earlier filings made a strong case for $10.5 billion in damages, in line with Google’s unjustly collected 30% fees. I think they’d have gotten it if they’d stayed in the fight a few weeks longer to the overwhelming victory in court. An unfortunate outcome,” Sweeney added.
Read Epic Games’ Corie Wright, VP of Public Policy’s letter
The State Attorneys General settled with Google before trial to get a one-time payout with no true relief for consumers or developers. After originally seeking $10.5 billion in antitrust damages identified as Google’s unjustly collected fees, the States Attorneys General settled for a $700 million payout.
Consumers will continue to overpay for digital goods as a result of Google’s imposition of supracompetitive 30% fees for Google Play Billing or 26% junk fees on top of payments Google isn’t involved in processing. Developers will also continue to be restricted in how they distribute their apps, and developers who choose to use a third party payment option will be forced to use Google’s deceptively-labeled “user choice billing” system rather than having creative freedom over the design of their payment systems.
In Epic v. Google, a jury unanimously found that Google violated the antitrust laws in its dealings with developers, potential competitors, and OEMs. The States’ settlement does not address the core of Google’s unlawful and anticompetitive behavior. In the next phase of the case, Epic will seek meaningful remedies to truly open up the Android ecosystem so consumers and developers will genuinely benefit from the competition that U.S. antitrust laws were designed to promote.



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