Epic Games and Match Group now have a court date for their antitrust lawsuit against Google. A judge in the Northern District of California has set the beginning a jury trial scheduled for November 6th. Both Epic and Match accuse Google of abusing its control over Android app distribution through the Play Store by setting unfair fees and requirements for in-app purchases. There is also a lawsuit brought by 39 attorneys general and a class action lawsuit by customers seeking $4.7 billion in damages.
Epic sued Google in 2020 after the Android creator kicked out Fourteen days from the Play Store to let customers use an alternative in-app payment system. Match sued Google last year over the “exorbitant” store fee. Epic and Match consolidated their case and filed a motion last fall to expand their allegations, accusing Google of further antitrust violations by paying major developers hundreds of millions of dollars to keep their apps on the Play Store.
Unlike Epic’s partially successful lawsuit against Apple, this case needs to recognize that customers have a choice. While Apple requires all regular app downloads to go through the App Store, Android’s sideloading option allows customers to install software without downloading it from Google. The problem, as you might imagine, is that when the Play Store comes standard on many Android phones, these apps are both more difficult to install and less likely to be noticed.