Google strikes back at Epic for intentionally violating Play Store terms

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Published on
October 15, 2021, 12:45 a.m.

Google strikes back at ‘Fortnite’ developer alleging breach of Play Store contract

Back when Apple started Epic Games’ Fortnite outside of the App Store, Google followed suit and launched the game from the Google Play Store.

In the lawsuit initiated by Epic, the latest development is that Google sued the game developer alleging breach of the Play Store contract.

Epic’s lawsuit with Apple recently ended when the judge ruled in favor of the iPhone maker.

Epic bypassed Play billing and offered customers direct payment options

Epic bypassed Play billing and offered customers direct payment options

Epic Games initially took legal action against Google after its removal Fortnite of the Play Store citing policy violations. Epic had bypassed Google’s proprietary Integrated Purchase Payment System (IAP) and offered users of the app the option to pay Epic directly.

The lawsuit with Apple also arose for the same reasons and the ruling favored Apple, although it was ordered to authorize alternative IAP payment systems.

In counter-complaint, Google alleges Epic’s moves were intentional

Now Google has alleged that Epic intentionally violated the terms of the Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA) to “drag Google into a legal battle against the competition” and bypass the search engine giant’s 30% cut takes for all IAP payments.

Google claimed Epic’s first Fortnite the submission, which did not have Google Play billing, was rejected. A new submission included Play billing, but came with a server-side switch to enable direct payments.

Here’s what Google said in its compensation complaint

Here's what Google said in its compensation complaint

“Epic has in turn been unfairly enriched at Google’s expense … including by hijacking itself via patch service charges that Google was entitled to as compensation under the DDA for the distribution of apps and other services provided to Epic, “reads Google’s complaint.

“Epic has unfairly retained these benefits, and continues to do so, without compensating Google,” Google added.

Google doesn’t care about the distribution of Fortnite on the Play Store

Google has said it does not oppose the distribution of Epic Fortnite without the Play Billing framework, as long as the game is not distributed on the Play Store.

This means that users can install Fortnite because Android makes it easy to load applications.

Meanwhile, Epic has already paid Apple $ 6 million to make up for lost profits, but Apple has appealed the permanent injunction directing it to authorize other IAP payment systems.


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