Epic has renewed its fight against the blockade of mobile platform app stores, updating its antitrust case against Google. The filing adds many details about Google’s alleged monopoly behavior on Android, including banning the Epic game Fortnite from the Google Play Store last year. The amended complaint comes shortly after a judge formally linked the case to a recent multi-state lawsuit, aimed at Google Play Store policy.
The Epic complaint is based on information obtained from government antitrust investigations and documents produced since the original claim. An addition, for example, includes details revealed last year about “Google’s close -knit relationship with Apple,” including an agreement to pay between $ 8 and $ 12 billion to become Apple’s default search provider. It also includes new information on Google’s anti -competitive behavior, including its agreements with alternative phone makers and app stores. A large amount of this information, however, has been sealed – just giving a clue as to the allegations that the case can rely on.
Google denied the claim in a statement to The Verge. “The open Android ecosystem allows developers to distribute applications through several app stores. For game developers who choose to use the Play Store, we have a consistent policy that is fair to developers and keeps the store safe for users. During Fortnite remains available on Android, we will no longer be able to make it available on Play due to a violation of our policies. We will continue to defend ourselves against these worthless claims, ”said spokesman José Castañeda.
Among the new information being restructured, Epic seems to be explaining its plans for the launch Fortnite in the Samsung Galaxy Store. “Google is determined not to let this happen,” the complaint said, so much so that it offered Epic a “special offer” to launch on Google Play. When Epic rejected the deal, Google allegedly committed other anti-competitive actions, but details of those actions were not available.
Google’s relationship with Samsung came under the microscope earlier this month as 36 states and the District of Columbia sued Google for violating antitrust laws. Epic’s complaint cites several allegations raised in the complaint, such as a deal to turn the Samsung Galaxy Store into a rebranded Play Store – something revealed by a new filing called “Project Agave.” The Epic filing suggests that if the lawsuit goes ahead, it will depend on how Google responds to the prospect of the Epic-Samsung deal.
Outside of these and other reduced claims, the complaint makes the same basic argument as Epic’s original claim in August. It says Google’s “open” Android ecosystem still functions monopolistically, preventing other app stores or unloaded apps from competing in the same gaming arena as Google’s official Play Store platform. It seeks the ability to put Fortnite in the Google Play Store with an independent payment processing system and put an end to other allegedly non -competing actions – which, in its complaint, included a rather lengthy and awful process to launch a downloaded app.
Epic and Google should initially appear in the trial about the future of the case today. But the parties agreed to push the timeline while Epic filed a complaint that had been amended. Judge James Donato also agreed to combine the early part of the case with the state Play Store lawsuit. The proposed schedule from earlier this month gives Google until Aug. 20 to file a motion for dismissal, and then sets the trial of the case for Oct. 14. Google has previously disputed a legal complaint against the Play Store, saying Google’s platform “provides more openness and choice than any other.”
Epic vs. Google has moved slower than Epic’s lawsuit against Apple, which was tried in May and awaits a verdict. Epic vs. Apple revolves around a slightly different question because, unlike Apple, Google allows third -party apps or stores. Unlike on iOS, Fortnite not locked from Android while the case is running; you can still download it directly from the Epic website. But both lawsuits allege platform rules for developers are unfair and anti -competitive – and deep Epic vs. Google, Epic has found a similar reason with government antitrust watchdogs as well.
Update 1:20 PM ET: Adding comments from Google.