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Google Paid Samsung $8 Billion Over Four Years, Jurors Told at Antitrust Trial

 |  November 14, 2023

James Kolotouros, the Vice President for Partnerships at Google, confirmed Monday that the tech giant had entered into an agreement with Samsung to pay $8 billion over four years.

The deal was struck to ensure that Google’s apps would be set as default on Samsung phones. This information was disclosed during the ongoing trial where Epic Games Inc. has accused Google of violating antitrust laws through its app marketplace, reported Bloomberg.

Epic Games, the creator of the popular video game “Fortnite,” initiated the lawsuit against Google in 2020, asserting that Google’s practices were anticompetitive. The gaming company is striving to demonstrate that Google executives discouraged the presence of third-party app stores on Samsung devices to safeguard Google Play’s profits.

According to Kolotouros’s testimony, a significant portion, “half or more,” of Google Play’s revenue is generated from Samsung devices. The trial primarily targets Google’s app store, responsible for distributing apps for the Android software that powers the majority of smartphones globally, excluding Apple devices.

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Epic contends that Google has established an illegal monopoly on Android apps, aiming to boost profits through commissions ranging from 15 to 30 percent on in-app purchases. Google, however, argues that it is striving to compete with Apple and its app store, countering Epic’s accusations.

During the trial, Google’s attorney asserted that the company cannot be considered a monopoly due to competition from companies like Apple. Ironically, in September, both Google and Apple found themselves entangled in an antitrust lawsuit. According to Bloomberg, this case revolves around payments made by Google to Apple, ensuring that the Google search engine is the default on iPhones.

Epic’s attorney, Gary Bornstein, had previously accused Google of resorting to bullying and bribing to stifle competition.

It was revealed that Google had initially offered Samsung $200 million over four years, proposing that Samsung’s Galaxy app store be integrated into the Google Play Store rather than being preinstalled on devices. However, this idea was abandoned, leading to the current $8 billion deal between Google and Samsung.

Source: Bloomberg