Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Google for alleged antitrust violations, just hours after seeing it Fortnite dropped from both the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store and filed a similar Apple lawsuit. Epic’s complaint alleges that Google’s payment restrictions on the Play Store constitute a monopoly and therefore violate both the Sherman Act and California’s Cartwright Act.
Epic hit game Fortnite was removed from the Google Play Store earlier today.
When the Apple complaint opened with its 1984 description of the company’s iconic advertising, Epic’s complaint against Google focused on that company’s famous “Do not evil” mantra. “Twenty-two years later, Google has given up on its motto almost as a new thinking,” lawsuit, “and is using its scale to do evil with its competitors. innovators, customers and users in a wide range of markets that it has evolved to be exclusive.
Outside of the colorful preamble, two main fees are identical to Epic’s lawsuit against Apple: exclusive control over distribution of the software to the phone and exclusive control over the in-software payment system. there. In the case of Google, Epic is particularly interested in the strong role of the Google Play Store as an Android app distributor and the Play Store’s requirement for apps hosted using Payments. on the Play Store for any in-app purchases.
That case is more difficult to counter Google, the company that controls Android software less strictly than Apple over iOS. Android has long allowed the installation of third-party app stores, including Epic’s own Epic Game Apps. The app can also be passed through direct links without the need for app store involvement.
For several years, Fortnite for Android is mainly available through this type of transfer. The app finally hit the Google Play Store in April, overcoming long-standing concerns about the Play Store policy taking 30% of all in-app purchases. “After 18 months of operation Fortnite on Android outside of the Google Play Store, we have fundamentally realized, ”the company said at the time,“ Google puts downloadable software outside of Google Play at a disadvantage. “
Thursday’s lawsuit also brought up a similar case, arguing that Google had established the Play Store as the only viable delivery method for Android apps. “Despite its promises to make Android devices competitive, Google has built up contractual and technological barriers that block competitive ways of distributing apps to Android users, ensuring that The Google Play Store accounts for almost all app downloads from the app stores on Android devices. “
Approaching to comment, Google emphasizes that Fortnite has been removed from the Play Store for violating clear and pre-set rules. “For game developers who choose to use the Play Store, we have consistent policies that are fair for developers and keep the store safe for users,” said a representative. “When Fortnite still available on Android, we cannot make it available on Play anymore because it violates our policy. However, we welcome the opportunity to continue discussions with Epic and bring Fortnite go back to Google Play. “
Updated on August 13, 9:51 PM ET: Updated with statement from Google.