There is an ongoing case pitting Epic Games and Match Group against Google over Google’s control over the distribution of Android apps. A judge from the Northern District of California has set the date for the start of the trial, it will be November 6, 2023.
In fact, Epic and Match accuse the tech giant of abusing its control over the distribution of Android apps. The company allegedly abused the Play Store by setting unreasonable fees and requirements for in-app purchases. Those charges come with a lawsuit that includes 39 attorneys general and a class action lawsuit against clients seeking $4.7 billion in damages.
The steps in Epic and Match
For Epic, it all started in 2020, when the creator of Android kicked Fortnite out of the Play Store. The reason is that it allowed its users to use another in-app payment system, something that Google strictly forbids. As for Match, it sued the tech giant in 2022 over store charges it deemed to be “ exorbitant “.
Subsequently, according to Engadget, Epic and Match “ consolidated their case and last fall filed a motion to expand their claims Both companies say Google violated antitrust laws by paying big developers huge sums of money to keep their apps on the Play Store.
What does Google say?
Google says it has not abused its power and that the fee is necessary to both maintain and invest in the Play Store. Among other things, he maintains that the incentive program in no way prohibits developers from launching third-party stores, and that the established competition is fair. Additionally, in December 2022, the company asked the court not to accept the expanded claims regarding timing and other issues.
In addition, it should be noted that Google has made some concessions, including a program to test billing alternatives in the Play Store. But the pilot still gives Google a share on every transaction made. Now we have to see if such measures will satisfy the court and the regulatory authorities. But even if the company wins against Epic and Watch, there’s a good chance it won’t come out completely unscathed. Currently, the tech giant is fighting several antitrust cases.