Epic Games claims Google India is not following antitrust orders
Epic Games is challenging Google in an Indian court for failing to comply with parts of an antitrust directive, alleging the tech giant does not host the game company’s app store on Google’s Play Store app .
Epic’s claims are the latest legal issues to plague Alphabet Inc’s unit in India. Last month, after losing a legal battle with India’s Competition Commission (ICC), Google announced it would make changes to its Android business model, including ending its practice of forcing manufacturers to devices to pre-install a bunch of Google apps like YouTube or Chrome.
However, Epic claimed in a Feb. 9 filing with a New Delhi appellate court that Google failed to comply with part of the CCI directive that Google should host third-party app stores on Play Store. and allow free downloading of apps without using Play. Store, a practice called “sideloading,” according to a copy of Epic’s submissions reviewed by Reuters.
Creator of the popular Fortnite video game, Epic operates its own app store, the Epic Games Store, which offers games and other apps for download. The company says in the filing that it is “planning to launch” the Games Store app on the Google Play Store and was “adversely affected” by Google’s failure to comply with the TCC order.
“We seek to join Indian developers in court to support the ICC order that requires Google to allow competing third-party app stores,” Bakari Middleton, director of global public policy at Epic Games, told Reuters. in a press release.
Epic is known for its campaigns against Apple and Google for charging high commissions on app stores. It has 9.5 million users in India.
Google said in a statement that it has submitted its “compliance plan to the ICC and continues to respectfully follow legal process in India.”
The CCI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In October, the agency said Google was exploiting its dominant position in Android in India, where 97% of smartphones run the operating system.
Google denied wrongdoing and sought to block the directive, warning that the decision would limit the growth of the Android ecosystem. India’s Supreme Court ordered Google to follow ICC guidelines but allowed it to continue arguing its case in the New Delhi Court of Appeal where Epic filed its case.
Epic is seeking an order to force Google to comply with the TCC ruling, and the case is expected to be heard in the coming days.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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