Google asks court to dismiss multiple claims in Epic Games antitrust lawsuit

Google asks court to dismiss multiple claims in Epic Games antitrust lawsuit

Google asks court to dismiss multiple claims in Epic Games antitrust lawsuit

Google hopes to expedite the resolution of its antitrust legal battle with Fortnite maker Epic Games, Match Group and state attorneys general. In a new filing, Google’s legal team is now asking the court to reject several of the plaintiffs’ arguments regarding the nature of its App Store business, revenue-sharing agreements and other App Store-related projects. in a partial motion for summary judgment.

According to Google, it believes the court should now have enough information to rule on a handful of plaintiffs’ claims before the case goes to trial, saying these items do not violate antitrust law. If the court agrees with Google’s position, the lawsuit will still move forward as other claims will still need to be argued in court.

Google specifically wants the court’s judgment on five key claims that are apparently central to the plaintiffs’ ability to prove anticompetitive behavior.

He wants the court to reject the argument that Google’s Developer Distribution Agreement is illegal because it prohibits the distribution of other app stores. Google counters this by saying it has no legal obligation to distribute to other app stores, and notes that most Android devices come preloaded with more than one app store. Additionally, he points out that consumers can install additional app stores from the web browser.

“Android is the only major mobile platform that allows multiple app stores,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “In fact, most Android devices come with at least two app stores pre-installed, and consumers can install more. Epic, Match Group and state attorneys general ignore the openness and choice offered by Android and Google Play, and we look forward to taking our case to court,” they added.

Another argument he wants to dismiss centers on “Project Hug,” a program run by Google that was designed to incentivize Android game developers to keep their games on the Google Play Store. The plaintiffs argued that Google quietly paid game developers millions of dollars in inducements under this initiative, which later became known as the “Apps and Games Velocity Program.” Epic Games alleged that the program came about because Google was afraid other developers would follow its lead after releasing Fortnite exclusively for Android outside of the Play Store through its own installer. Supposedly, Google was also concerned that Epic would enter into other exclusive pre-installation deals with OEMs such as Samsung to reduce its revenue share.

The program itself was quite successful as Google was able to strike deals with a number of developers, including Activision Blizzard, to keep their games on the Play Store, according to earlier documents.

Google, however, argues that Project Hug was not an anti-competitive measure, but was misinterpreted by the plaintiffs. It says the program gave developers benefits and early access to Google Play users when developers released new or updated content, but did not prevent developers from creating competing app stores.

The company is also pushing back on claims about revenue-sharing deals with mobile carriers, saying they are outside the statute of limitations. The deals expired more than four years ago, Google says, and should therefore be rejected.

In addition, Google asserts that the AGs and consumer category were unable to demonstrate that Google harmed competition by selling in-app subscriptions and in-app purchases to consumers. Because of this, consumers shouldn’t be able to recoup any of these alleged overcharges, Google says.

The final claim relates to tying – or the claim that in order to purchase one product, the buyer had to also purchase a different (or tied) product. The plaintiffs argued that Google Play and Google Play’s billing services were illegally linked, but Google says that’s not true. Instead, he argues that Play’s billing services aren’t a separate product. He also notes that over 90% of apps on Google Play are free and developers pay nothing when downloaded.

The new push for a partial summary judgment follows shortly after last month’s ruling that Google’s failure to preserve some of its posts for discovery warrants penalties. The plaintiffs successfully demonstrated that Google employees tended to disable chat history during internal chats, in an effort to destroy sensitive communications related to the case. The DoJ recently cited the same issue in its own antitrust investigation. The judge gave the plaintiffs’ lawyers until April 21 to first pay the amount of the legal costs they are claiming as part of the sanctions.

Google earlier requested that the trial be delayed and was denied.

Epic Games was asked to comment and we’ll update if there is one.


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