The Loss of Google to Epic is Probably not Going to Have Much of an Effect Right Now

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A federal jury has ruled that Google’s app store, Google Play, has benefited from anti-competitive behavior in a case filed by Epic Games. The lawsuit alleged that Google uses its dominant position in Android to strike deals with handset makers and collect excessive fees from consumers, charging between 15% and 30% for all digital purchases made through its storefront.

While the jury unanimously found that Google had acquired and maintained monopoly power in the Android app distribution market and in-app billing market, the impact on Google’s revenue is expected to be minimal. Google Services, which includes Google Play revenue, brought in $67.99 billion in Q3 2023. The ruling could lead to potential changes in Google Play’s billing model and commission structure, forcing the company to allow other app stores equal footing on third-party devices.

The court may also require Google to make changes to its app store rules, potentially ending the practice of forcing app makers to use Google’s billing system. The decision could provide more ammunition for other antitrust cases against Google. The court will decide on remedies in the coming months, and Google has indicated it will appeal the verdict, potentially tying up the case in appeals court for years.

Despite the legal battle, investors are awaiting more details on potential remedies before reacting strongly. The ruling could also impact ongoing antitrust action brought by the Department of Justice against Google.