Google Loses to Epic Games, $120 Million Idaho Broadband, New Google Fiber Exec

Google has been found guilty in an antitrust trial brought on by video game company Epic Games.

Google Loses to Epic Games, $120 Million Idaho Broadband, New Google Fiber Exec
Photo of Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, taken 2016.

December 12, 2023 – A California jury found Google guilty on Monday of engaging in anticompetitive conduct over the distribution of the app of video game company Epic Games.

The verdict form out of the Northern District of California affirmed that Google’s operating system Android engaged in anticompetitive conduct in the distribution market and the market for in-app billing services for digital goods and services transactions.

Epic, the creator of popular game Fortnite, accused the search giant in 2020 of gatekeeping which other app stores Epic could host its content on and for forbidding the game maker from charging customers for in-game purchases through the app, thereby bypassing the Android store fee.

Epic alleged the tech giant made it restrictive to distribute its apps elsewhere by engaging in agreements with device manufacturers and competitors to exclude other app stores.

In their verdict, the jury determined that Google’s practice of forming those kinds of agreements along with practices like the Games Velocity Program, which Google has said offers incentives for developers to launch their apps on Google Play, were anticompetitive.

In a blog post about the finalized antitrust trial, Epic Games cited the verdict as a win for all app-developers, a sentiment that was echoed by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney in an X post, in which he said “Victory over Google!”

The court is expected to decide the consequences of the verdict next month.

Idaho awards $120 million to broadband projects

The Idaho Broadband Advisory Board announced Thursday the allocation of $120 million in funding to 18 broadband projects.

The funding is coming from the Idaho Capital Projects Fund, which is part of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Capital Project Fund of $10 billion provided to states and territories and tribal governments to, in part, improve broadband connectivity and access in unserved and underserved areas.

Winners included Ziply Fiber, Comcast and individual counties. Projects received financing anywhere from just over $2 million up to $15 million.

“These awarded projects are another important step in furthering the Idaho Broadband Advisory Board’s mission of ensuring that all Idahoans have access to affordable and reliable internet,” said IBAB chair John Vander.

“These grants are the culmination of months working together and engaging stakeholders, local communities and internet providers all across the State,” said Idaho Broadband Program manager Ramón Hobdey-Sánchez.

Google Fiber names new chief technology and product officer

Google Fiber announced Tuesday that John Keib will be the company’s first chief technology and product officer, overseeing supply chain efforts and product and engineering departments.

Keib originally joined Google Fiber in 2019 as vice president of product and has been working on building internet services with improved speeds and quality, said a press release.

Prior to working at Google Fiber, Keib served as COO for residential services at Time Warner where he worked in sales, marketing, customer service and technical operations.

“John’s visionary leadership is critical to GFiber’s ability to truly push the boundaries of what ISP can be,” said Google Fiber CEO Dinni Jain in a press release. “With product, engineering, and GFiber Labs under his guidance, we’re very lucky to have him setting both the path for where we’re going and the bar for what we need to be as a company.”

Popular Tags