Epic Games andGoogle(Google)’s antitrust lawsuit opened in San Francisco on Monday. The two sides discussed whether Google abused itsAndroid app storePlay StoreThere was a heated debate about its market position.During the trial, Epic’s lawyers presented evidence showing that Google hadSamsungPhone manufacturers have struck secret deals to ensure priority for their apps and services on Android devices while hindering the development of third-party app stores.
According to a document shown by Epic’s lawyers, Google and Samsung had signed a four-year agreement. From 2019 to 2022, Google paid Samsung $8 billion as a pre-production license for Samsung on its Galaxy series of phones. Installing the Play Store and setting Google Search Engine and Voice Assistant as default options returns. In addition, Google also plans to invest US$2.9 billion in 2020 to cooperate with other Android device manufacturers and operators to ensure the dominance of its applications and services on the Android platform.
In exchange, these partners can receive a certain percentage of revenue share from Play Store or Search ads, which Google calls the RSA 3.0 program. Google Vice President of Partnerships James Kolotoulos admitted in court that the purpose of this plan was to prevent Android users from switching to Apple’s iPhone, and also to deal with competition from third-party app stores such as Epic. He also revealed that at least half of the revenue on the Play Store comes from Samsung devices.
Epic’s lawyers pointed out that these agreements reflect Google’s control and manipulation of the Android ecosystem and its stifling of competition. They said that third-party app stores cost Google $12 million in 2021, and that Google was willing to pay billions of dollars in order to maintain its monopoly. Epic’s lawyers also questioned Google’s “open” and “free” slogans, arguing that Google was actually limiting the choices of users and developers and violating antitrust laws.
The lawsuit between Epic and Google is another legal battle related to the mobile application distribution and payment market, following the lawsuit between Epic and Apple. Epic’s goal is to ask Google to allow users to download and update apps directly on Android devices without having to go through the Play Store, and also to ask Google to allow developers to use third-party payment systems without having to pay Google’s 30% platform commission. Google argued that its developer agreement was to protect user security and privacy and to compete fairly with competitors such as Apple, while Epic was trying to evade its contractual obligations and use its platform and services for free.
The lawsuit is expected to last several weeks before a jury reaches a verdict. The outcome of this lawsuit will have a significant impact on the mobile application industry and may change the relationship and distribution of benefits between users, developers and platforms.
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