Lauren Irwin reports via The Hill: Google agreed to pay $8 billion over four years to Samsung to make its apps default on Samsung phones, according to information presented by Epic Games in court. James Kolotouros, vice president for partnerships at Google, testified Monday in a San Francisco trial, saying that the company and Samsung were to share app store revenue to ensure Android mobile devices came with Google Play preinstalled. Epic, the company that makes the popular video game "Fortnite," sued Google in 2020, alleging the company's app marketplace violates antitrust laws.
Epic is trying to show that Google executives have discouraged third-party app stores on Samsung devices so it wouldn't cut into the profit of Google Play, Bloomberg reported. According to Kolotouros's testimony, half or more of Google Play revenue comes from Samsung devices. The trial targets the app store that distributes apps for the company's Android software, which powers virtually all the world's smartphones that aren't made by Apple.
Epic alleges Google has created an illegal monopoly on Android apps so it can boost its profits through commissions, ranging from 15 to 30 percent on purchases made within an app. Google argues it was doing so to compete with Apple and its app store, an argument attacked by Epic attorney Lauren Moskowitz. Earlier in the trial, Google's attorney said the company can't be a monopoly because it faces competition from companies such as Apple. Further reading:...
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