The Legal “Battle Royale” Between Epic Games And Google Begins!
By TD NewsDesk
Updated on Tue, Nov 7, 2023
In one corner, there's Epic Games, armed with the knowledge of antitrust laws and a battle-worn history against tech giants. In the other corner, there's tech titan Google, boasting a high-level legal team and a monopoly to bill users as per its convenience.
Sounds no less interesting than a Fortnite game, right?
Well, in a battle that promises to be as epic as any Fortnite match, Epic Games geared up for a high-stakes courtroom showdown with tech behemoth Google on November 6th, 2023. Let's see how Epic Games has prepped up for the battle that can have major implications for the gaming technology industry:
- The gaming giant Epic Games is determined to convince a jury that Google has been engaging in anticompetitive behavior with its Android app store, Google Play and its commission structure, despite recently settling an antitrust lawsuit with search giant Google.
- Unlike its battle with Apple, Epic Games can't play the 'no other way' card this time, as Android allows for sideloading apps. Nevertheless, Epic contends that Google has made this process unnecessarily cumbersome, with most of its arguments focused on what it views as anticompetitive agreements between Google and device manufacturers and developers.
- According to the report, Epic Games' legal arsenal is loaded with references to a notable precedent: Microsoft's antitrust case, where the courts found that the software giant had a monopoly over operating systems and was stifling competition by making it difficult for users to download alternative browsers, such as Netscape, on Windows devices.
- To make its case, Epic plans to wield the Sherman Act, Sections 1 and 2, as well as California's anticompetitive laws, including the Cartwright Act and the Unfair Competition Law. Its central argument is that Google is stifling competition in two key markets: the distribution of apps to Android users and the payment processing solutions market within Android apps.
So, what's Google's take on the issue?
- Google is not about to roll over without a fight! It maintains that its commissions are not solely tied to billing but offers discounts for third-party billing options. Currently, Google requires app developers to use its in-house billing system, charging them a commission of 15% to 30% on their sales.
- However, Google has introduced an alternative - User Choice Billing. This program, currently in pilot testing, is open to all developers selling apps in 35 markets, including the U.S. and offers a 4% discount for those opting to use their payment processing solutions. Notably, Spotify and Bumble have already embraced this new system and Match, as part of a recent settlement, will join them.
- Google is determined to fend off Epic's claims of monopoly in the app store business by pointing out that it faces competition not only from Apple's App Store but also from alternative app stores such as Samsung's Galaxy Store and Amazon's Appstore, supported by the Android ecosystem.
- Besides, according to Google blog post by Wilson White, VP, Government Affairs & Public Policy, “Android’s choice and flexibility work well for consumers and developers of all sizes. We look forward to making our case in court as we fight to keep our users safe from harm, partner with developers to grow their businesses, and keep the Android ecosystem thriving and healthy for everyone.”
As the courtroom spectacle unfolds, all eyes will be on Epic Games and Google, two titans clashing in the virtual arena of the law, battling for the future of the digital gaming industry. In the meantime, gamers and tech enthusiasts worldwide eagerly await the outcome of this epic showdown!
Who, according to you, will emerge victorious in this battle? How will this high-stakes duel between a tech giant and a gaming giant reshape the digital landscape?
Feel free to pitch your thoughts in the comments section below!
First published on Tue, Nov 7, 2023
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