Holland & Hart antitrust attorney Paul Swanson was quoted in multiple publications discussing the implications of the San Francisco jury’s verdict finding Google violated antitrust laws through its Android Play Store and Android in-app billing system. Swanson also shares insights on Google’s prospects in post-trial proceedings or on appeal.
Swanson shares with The New York Times that during the trial, Epic’s lawyers said Google had deleted some internal chat messages that may have been relevant to the case, which undercut the search company’s credibility. “Google’s concern was that a jury would look at all of these issues they’ve examined for several weeks and put it through a lens of ‘can I even trust Google?’” Swanson said. “The stark reality is that Google finally had to face its consumers in the court of law.”
In talking to Bloomberg Law, Swanson shares, “a sweeping verdict like this is going to be hard for Google to undo in post-trial proceedings or on appeal.”
The ruling may impact risk mitigation for large tech companies—in a second Bloomberg Law article, Swanson said, “The immediate aftereffect is we will see a shift in the marketplace where big tech companies will have to make accommodations — whether it is more access, better terms, more options for developers — to stave off legal exposure.”
On the remedies the court may impose on Google, Swanson told TechCrunch, “The court is going to be trying to strike a balance to restore competition in these markets where the jury has found competition has been restrained. Still, he believes the court will try to do so in the least intrusive way possible, given that it won’t want to make Google itself a non-competitive entity. That means the court is not likely to engage in “too much tailoring” of the remedy, he says, and will instead focus on expanding choice around the downloading and purchase of Android apps.”
Swanson added, “What we know right now is that this is going to impact the walled garden business model Google and Apple and other companies have enjoyed for a while."
Swanson told the Washington Post, "the jury’s decision against Google sends a notice to other tech companies that run large platforms to be careful about how they run their businesses...and they’re going to have to think twice and look a lot more carefully at that business model."