Court Orders Google to Estimate the Cost of the Play Market Reform Demanded by Epic Games

In a recent court hearing between Epic Games and Google, the presiding judge James Donato mandated Google to submit by June 24, an estimate of the costs required to implement the Google Play Store reforms demanded by Epic Games. This hearing took place last Thursday.

Last year, Epic Games succeeded in obtaining a court ruling that Google has been abusing its dominant position in the Android app distribution market to suppress competition. In April of this year, Epic Games demanded that the court oblige Google to implement changes to the Google Play Store’s operations. This was aimed at eliminating anti-competitive practices, including lifting the ban on downloading apps from other sources, ensuring other stores’ access to Google’s store catalog without additional fees, and allowing developers to inform users about more advantageous payment methods outside the Play Store. Additionally, it was suggested that Google’s ability to enter agreements with device manufacturers which prevent the pre-installation of competing app stores should be limited.

In line with the court’s ruling, Google is required to provide a report detailing the necessary technical works and economic costs, if any, to allow access to the catalog and porting of libraries of competing app stores for a period of up to 6 years. This also includes the distribution of third-party app stores’ clients via the Google Play Store. The details of the report are to be submitted to the court by June 24, 2024.

Epic will also have the opportunity to question Google’s experts and specialists about their assessments and present their arguments before the final hearing, which is scheduled for August 14.

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