Google files a counterclaim in Epic Games lawsuit, saying it’s owed financial relief – TechCrunch


As the Apple v. Epic Games lawsuit goes under appeal, Google on Monday afternoon filed a solution and counterclaim in the Epic Games’ antitrust litigation towards the corporate. The tech large and Android maker denies Epic’s allegations of antitrust habits and as a substitute says that it’s owed relief, as Epic Games breached the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA) by permitting Fortnite gamers who obtain the app by Google Play to make use of Epic’s personal fee processing know-how.

This state of affairs is much like what came about on the App Store, the place Epic Games up to date its app to workaround App Store insurance policies, after which facilitated funds by its personal funds system, in violation of its authorized contract with Apple. The courtroom’s resolution in Apple’s case was that Epic owed financial relief to Apple, to the tune of $6 million dollars.

Epic Games did a lot of the identical factor on Google Play, the counterclaim alleges. Last yr, Epic submitted a construct of Fortnite to Google Play which used Epic’s personal direct funds system and never Google Play Billing. This submission was instantly rejected for failing to adjust to Google’s insurance policies. Epic then submitted a compliant model in April 2020, which Google now describes as “an act of deception designed to provoke litigation.”

The new model had hid Epic’s fee system in an replace that was despatched to each Apple and Google’s app shops. This would permit Epic to modify over to its personal fee system by making use of a server-side configuration change, or “hotfix,” with out Google’s information.

That switched was flipped on August 13, 2020. It allowed Fortnite customers to decide on between Google Play Billing and Epic’s personal direct funds system. This transfer was meant to set off the sport’s rejection from the app shops, paying the way in which for Epic to pursue its deliberate litigation. Google mentioned it notified Epic Games on the identical day the hotfix was utilized that it was in violation of the DDA, Google’s Malicious Behavior Policy, and the Google Play Billing Policy, and eliminated Fortnite from Google Play. However, it didn’t disable Epic’s account so the sport maker might resubmit a compliant model.

However, Android customers who had downloaded the sport from Google Play might nonetheless use Epic’s personal funds system even after the app was pulled down, permitting Epic to evade its contractually obligated service price to Google, the counterclaim states. Google is asking the courtroom to award restitution of this lack of feeds, in addition to different damages, lawyer’s charges, curiosity, and another relief the courtroom deems essential.

“Epic, a multibillion-dollar company backed by two of the world’s largest video game developers, has profited immensely from the safe, secure platform provided by Google Play, a platform for which it pays a fee equivalent or less than that charged by other major platform providers,” the counterclaim states. “Not satisfied with those immense profits, it entered into a legal agreement with Google with which it never intended to comply, deceiving Google and concealing its true intentions to provoke a legal and public relations confrontation that continues to this day. Its actions have put its own users at risk, have harmed Google, and are deserving of relief from this Court,” it says.

Epic Games has no additional touch upon the brand new submitting.

However, Epic’s place has been that Apple and Google’s requirement to make use of their very own in-app fee programs completely is a monopolistic follow that disadvantages builders. In Apple’s case, the court agreed that Apple mustn’t block builders from sharing a hyperlink to different fee strategies inside their very own app or speaking to clients. It didn’t declare Apple a monopoly.

But Google’s state of affairs is a bit totally different as Android already permits for sideloading apps — which means there’s one other technique of reaching Android customers outdoors Google Play, making an antitrust declare tougher.

Google has additionally filed its reply with the state’s lawyer common, developer, and client instances.

2021.10.11 (000183.03) Redacted Version of Defendants’ Answers, Defenses, And Counterclaims to Ep by W3Techy on Scribd