Google sues Epic for allegedly breaking Play Store contract
Google counterattacked Epic Games, accusing the game developer of breaking its contract when it introduced a new payment system to bypass Play Store payment systems and in-app purchase commissions.
At the complaint counter [PDF], Google alleges that Epic willfully breached the terms of a contract allowing Fortnite to reside in the Play Store by submitting a version of the app that contained a payment method that was not Google Play billing for in-app purchases.
Due to this breach of contract, Google claims that millions of Android users who downloaded the Fortnite app through the Play Store can still access Epic’s external payment system despite removing the app from the store. . According to Google, this allowed Epic to evade its contractually agreed service fee with Google for these purchases.
“Epic has alternately been unjustly enriched at the expense of Google,” Google wrote in the complaint.
“Consumers and developers don’t need to use Google Play, they choose to use it when they have a choice among Android app stores and distribution channels. Google supports that choice through Android. itself, the policies of Google Play and the agreements of Google with developers and manufacturers of devices. “
In making this claim, Google said that Epic has no problem with Epic providing a version of the Fortnite app that contains a payment system other than Google Play to Android users as long as it is outside. from the Play Store. Google added that this means it is not like other competitors, such as Apple, because Android app developers don’t have to use the Google Play Store to deliver apps to users.
Google is seeking compensation for the amount it lost from users accessing Epic’s external payment system through an app downloaded from the Play Store.
So far, the Epic-Google lawsuit has produced documents indicating that Google attempted to acquire Epic because the game developer was seen as a threat to the App Store. Google has been threatened by its intention to bypass Google’s official Play Store commission by distributing Fortnite through other channels, according to a document submitted by Epic.
Another court document from Epic claimed that Google had considered contacting Tencent, which has a minority stake in Epic, to purchase its share. The document indicates that Google has reportedly considered teaming up with Tencent to fully acquire Epic.
The counterclaim comes more than a year after Epic filed the original lawsuit, which accused Google of being anti-competitive and monopolistic. The accusations arose after Google removed Fortnite from the Play Store.
Along with the Epic-Google lawsuit, Epic is in a similar legal fight with Apple. The Epic-Apple lawsuit is more advanced, however, as a mixed court ruling on it was handed down last month.
The mixed tribunal decision was mostly on Apple’s side, as it concluded that the iPhone maker was not an antitrust monopoly and that it was justified to ban Epic’s apps from the App Store. . Presiding Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers also ordered Epic to pay Apple millions of dollars for the revenue it collected through its external payment system from users who downloaded the Fortnite app through the App Store.
On the flip side, presiding judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers also found that Apple was engaging in anti-competitive behavior under California competition laws, leading it to issue a permanent injunction to block the rule of law. Apple’s App Store which prevents developers from adding in-app links to payment websites.
Since the ruling, however, Apple and Epic have appealed the ruling; Apple has asked that the injunction be stayed until all disputes are resolved while Epic has requested that Gonzales Roger’s larger ruling be overturned.
With both lawsuits still ongoing, Epic’s apps continue to be banned from the App Store and Play Store.