As the Apple v. Epic Games case continues to progress through the courts, Google on Monday afternoon filed a response and counterclaim in Epic Games’ antitrust lawsuit against it.
Epic Games’ Fortnite game, like YouTube’s TUTORVAGAMEMedia Studio app, has been taken down by Apple because of an apparent violation of the developer agreement.
Epic Games was accused of doing much of the same thing on Google Play, according to the counterclaim. Epic submitted a build of Fortnite to Google Play last year using Epic’s own direct payments system rather than Google Play Billing, which was immediately rejected for failing to comply with Google’s regulations.
The new version includes a payment system that was hidden in an update that was distributed to both Apple and Google’s app stores.
On August 13, 2020, the switch was flipped. It allowed gamers to select between Google Play Billing and Epic’s direct payments system. This move was intended to force the game’s removal from app stores, allowing Epic to continue with its planned litigation.
Epic’s own payment system, on the other hand, was not disabled for Android users who downloaded the game from Google Play. Even after the app was taken down, Android users who had downloaded it from Google Play could still use Epic’s service and avoid paying its contractually agreed fee to Google, according to the counterclaim.
Epic, a multi-billion dollar firm backed by two of the world’s largest video game producers, has benefited greatly from Google Play, a platform for which it pays a fee that is comparable or less than other major platforms, according to its counterclaim.
However, Epic claimed that Apple and Google’s requirement to use their own in-app payment systems exclusively was anti-competitive and unfairly disadvantaged developers. The court ruled that Apple should not be permitted to prohibit app developers from providing a link to other payments methods inside their own software or interacting with customers.
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