Briefly: While the Google Play Store distributes most Android apps, the mobile operating system is technically an open platform. Google doesn’t completely prevent users from installing apps from outside its store, but Epic has accused it of discouraging the creation of competing app stores.
Court filings from this week shed More light on Epic’s allegations that Google paid other companies to prevent them from starting independent app distribution channels. These alternative app stores will wrap the Google Play Store on Android and a 30 percent sales commission, which Epic has done since Google launched Fortnite from its storefront.
Epic’s ongoing legal battle with Google claims the search giant paid Activision $360 million to keep Android versions of its games like Candy Crush exclusive to the Play Store. Google also allegedly entered into a similar deal with Riot Games, Ubisoft Corporation, Nintendo and Ubisoft and paid Riot $30 million. Epic centralizes the Play Store for the Android platform as a monopoly.
The allegations came from a new, unredacted version of the antitrust lawsuit against Google. Activision Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Chief Operating Officer Lulu Cheng Meservey emphatically to reject Epic’s statement, saying that Activision has already provided testimonials and documentation disputing these accusations.
Epic accuses Google, partner of Activision Blizzard, of paying us not to compete with them.
To be clear: this is wrong.
Google has never asked, pressured, or made us agree not to compete with them — and we’ve already provided documents and testimonials that refute that nonsense.
– Lulu Cheng Meservey (@lulumeservey) November 17, 2022
Last year, epic quoted Google’s internal communications suggest deals to pay the companies to avoid competition on the Play Store. The company considered purchasing some or all of Epic to fight the lawsuit. Its plan, dubbed “Project Hug,” also involved paying partners for YouTube posts and giving them credits for Google ads and cloud services.
Meanwhile, a semi-related legal battle occurred between Epic and Apple recently entered new stage. Last year, a US District Court judge Rule Mostly in favor of Apple after Epic claimed that the company’s App Store constituted a monopoly on iOS software distribution. Both companies have appealed the ruling, and the case went to the Court of Appeal this week, starting with oral arguments.
On the other side of the pond, EU regulations may eventually push mobile ecosystems toward the desired Epic site regardless of a US court ruling. the European Union recently Issuance Its Digital Markets Act, which may force Apple and Google to make their walled gardens more open over the next few years.
The feud between Epic, Apple, and Google has resulted in Fortnite being released on both mobile app stores. Play Fortnite natively on Android require Download or get the Epic driver from the Samsung Galaxy Store. On Apple’s iOS, it’s only accessible through cloud gaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce Now.