Alphabet used a "bribe and block” strategy to thwart competition against its Google Play app marketplace, hurting developers and raising prices for consumers, Epic Games has said as it begins its courtroom battle with the technology giant.

Epic, which makes the popular Fortnite game, is looking to upend Google Play policies in an antitrust trial over whether Google has monopolized the Android app distribution and payment market. The case threatens billions of dollars in revenue generated by the store.

At opening statements on Monday, Epic’s attorney Gary Bornstein told jurors that Google pays off competitors, including those who want to set up their own app stores to directly deal with users, and blocks them from competing with its own marketplace and payment system.