What CEO Tim Sweeney said after Epic Games' shocking win over Google in anti-trust lawsuit
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney discusses the groundbreaking, if not historic, antitrust victory over Google, highlighting deleted records and the jury's role, while Google vows to challenge the verdict.
In a legal showdown that had captivated the tech world because of its massive global ramifications, Epic Games, the powerhouse behind Fortnite, has emerged victorious in its antitrust battle against Google over its Play Store policies. The jury's decision, announced on Monday, found Google guilty of violating antitrust laws, marking a significant milestone in Epic's quest for fair competition in the app store landscape. Epic Games' CEO, Tim Sweeney, shared insights into the contrasting outcomes of the company's legal tussles with both Apple and Google in an interview with CNBC. Sweeney attributed the victory against Google to the revelation, especially of deleted records which made the jury deliver its decisive verdict.
According to Sweeney, the alleged deletion of crucial records by Google, including discussions about preferential deals with developers, played a pivotal role in shaping the case. "The brazenness of Google executives violating the law, and then deleting all of the records of violating the law," Sweeney told CNBC. "That was really astonishing. This is very much not a normal court case; you don't expect a trillion-dollar corporation to operate the way Google operated."
The Role of Trial Formats
Highlighting another key factor, Sweeney emphasized the difference in trial formats between the Apple and Google cases. While the Apple case was decided by a judge, the Google case was presented to a jury. Speaking to the Verge, Sweeney expressed confidence in the jury's engagement, stating, "Something that we'd suspected all along was the jury was really following the case carefully. They weren't snoozing off as you might expect with the complexity of these documents and things."
Fortnite's Stand on Steam Deck
Addressing the ongoing debate about Fortnite's absence on the Steam Deck, Sweeney told The Verge, "If we only had a few more programmers. It's the Linux pro.blem. I love the Steam Deck hardware. Valve has done an amazing job there."
Despite Google's plan to appeal the verdict, Sweeney affirmed that Epic Games would not wait. "We're not going to wait. We're going to do absolutely everything we can as quickly as we can to start changing the world," Sweeney declared. With a global perspective, he added, "We not only have this verdict here in the United States, it is a worldwide verdict, right? We established a market worldwide, excluding China."
Sweeney outlined Epic's expansive legal endeavors, including cases in Europe, Australia, and the UK, signaling a broader movement towards openness. "It's not just Epic anymore; there's a lot of legislators, there's a lot of regulators, and there's other litigation all pushing in the direction of openness. And we're going to do absolutely everything we can," Sweeney affirmed.
The antitrust case between Epic Games and Google focused on allegations that Google's payment practices in its Play Store and Android operating system constituted an illegal monopoly, causing harm to competition.
Google, however, remains firm in its position and plans to challenge the verdict. Wilson White, Google's Vice President for Government Affairs and Public Policy, stated, "We plan to challenge the verdict. Android and Google Play provide more choice and openness than any other major mobile platform." White emphasized Google's commitment to competition, stating, "We will continue to defend the Android business model and remain deeply committed to our users, partners, and the broader Android ecosystem."