Epic Games CEO portrays Google as ruthless bully


(MENAFN) In the ongoing antitrust trial where Epic Games is challenging Google's practices in the Android app store, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney portrayed Google as a ruthless bully employing questionable tactics to protect its payment system. Sweeney's testimony, which lasted over two hours, aimed to depict Google as a greedy monopolist engaged in illegal price-gouging through commissions ranging from 15 percent to 30 percent on in-app digital transactions, similar to the payment system challenged by Epic in a lawsuit against Apple's iPhone app store.

Epic Games, the creator of the popular Fortnite game, alleges that Google's commission structure is predatory, and it echoes a parallel lawsuit against Apple. The trial against Apple resulted in an unfavorable outcome for Epic, and the company is currently appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. Sweeney's testimony sought to underscore Google's alleged monopolistic behavior and its impact on developers and competition within the app store ecosystem.

During the cross-examination, Google's attorney, Jonathan Kravis, attempted to shift the narrative, portraying Sweeney as an executive primarily focused on evading commissions to boost Epic's profits. The case revolves around Google's Play Store for Android apps, and the outcome will have implications for how app store commissions are structured and whether Google's practices are deemed anticompetitive.

Unlike Apple's iPhone app store, Google's Play Store allows competition, a point highlighted during the trial. Epic Games had attempted to bypass the Play Store by offering Fortnite for Android phones on its own website in 2018. The antitrust trial is one of two legal challenges against Google, reflecting a broader trend of tech giants facing legal scrutiny and antitrust actions seeking to address concerns about market dominance and competition in the tech industry.

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