Though Match settled its antitrust case with Google over Play Store fees for north of $300 million, Fortnite maker Epic Games proceeded to take its case to trial this week. The game maker argues that Google’s commissions on in-app purchases are anti-competitive and that Google has exerted its power in the marketplace to unfairly compete by negotiating special deals with developers and manufacturers running their own app stores.
We already knew about Epic’s allegations against Google, but now they’ve been presented to the court, alongside witness testimony. Epic pushed to present this case in front of a jury instead of running a bench trial — a key difference from its battle with Apple over the same matter, which Apple largely won. (Epic is now asking the Supreme Court to weigh in on that one). With a jury trial, this case could turn out differently than others, as regular people — mobile app consumers, themselves — may interpret Epic’s claims about competition differently than a judge weighing the precedents set by contract law or antitrust regulations.
As opening arguments and witness testimony kicked off this week, we learned a few things about Google’s Play Store business. Among the highlights were: