Fortnite Maker Epic Games Suggests Measures to Google Play Store

Epic Games, the creator of the popular video game “Fortnite,” has taken legal action urging a federal judge in California to compel Google to allow greater competition within its Play Store. This move comes in the wake of a jury’s finding that the tech giant abused its position as a gatekeeper for apps on the Android mobile platform, Reuters news report said.
Epic video game Fortnite
In a court filing submitted on Thursday to U.S. District Judge James Donato in San Francisco, Epic Games proposed various measures to enhance competition in the Play Store.

Fortnite also requested to mandate the distribution of competing third-party app stores on the platform for a period of six years. Additionally, Epic seeks to limit Google’s ability to make agreements with device manufacturers that restrict the preloading of competing app stores.

Judge James Donato presided over a significant antitrust trial that concluded with a verdict against Google in December. While representatives from Google and Epic have not yet responded to requests for comment, it’s evident that a rigorous legal battle is expected before any permanent order is issued regarding Google’s practices.

The jury’s verdict in December highlighted Google’s alleged obstruction of developers’ ability to distribute their apps freely outside of the Play Store, as well as its tight control over in-app transaction payments. Epic’s proposed injunction also calls for Google to refrain from restricting how apps inform users about out-of-app purchasing options.

Google has vigorously defended its app store practices, refuting any accusations of wrongdoing. The company faces a deadline of May 3 to respond to Epic’s proposal. Notably, Epic’s lawsuit does not seek monetary damages.

Epic Games, headquartered in North Carolina, is privately held, with China’s Tencent holding a 40 percent stake and Walt Disney owning approximately 9 percent as of February.

Meanwhile, Google reached a separate agreement in December to pay $700 million to settle state and consumer allegations regarding its Play Store restrictions. As part of this agreement, Google announced plans to expand the options for app and game developers to offer consumers alternative billing methods for in-app purchases.

Google has indicated its intention to appeal the December antitrust verdict, suggesting a prolonged legal battle ahead. Similarly, Epic’s ongoing legal challenge against Apple, filed in 2020 over its control of the App Store, continues to be fought in courts after a non-jury trial and appeals. News Desk

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