Google sues Epic Games for breach of Play Store contract

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Google strikes back at Epic Games for its breach of the Play Store contract after the company bypassed Play’s fees for in-app purchases and enabled direct in-app payments. Soon after, Google deleted Fortnite from the Play Store, and Epic Games has taken legal action against Google and Apple. A lot of private information has since been released about all of the companies involved, and Apple could have a problem with in-app payments. However, the judge still ruled that Epic Games had broken its contract with Apple, and now Google is suing Epic Games.

In the counter complaint (Going through ZDNet), Google alleges that Epic began planning its intentional breach of the terms of the Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA) in order to “Drag Google into a legal battle against the competition” and bypass Google’s 30% cut in revenue share in a campaign known internally as “Project Liberty”. Epic Games reportedly attempted to submit a version of Fortnite to the Play Store without the Google Play billing system in place, where it was subsequently rejected. The company later submitted a version of the game with Google Play billing in place, but a server-side switch was added. This server-side switch, when flipped, allowed gamers to make direct payments.

“Epic has alternately been unjustly enriched at the expense of Google […] including bypassing itself via patch service charges to which Google was entitled as compensation under the DDA for the distribution of apps and other services provided to Epic ”, Google wrote in the complaint. “Epic has unfairly retained these benefits, and continues to do so, without compensating Google, Google is asking for the restitution of those amounts by which Epic has been unjustly enriched at Google’s expense.”

The company says it has no problem with Epic Games providing a version of Fortnite without Play billing, as long as it is not distributed within the Play Store. Google is asking for compensation for the amount it lost as a result of users paying Epic Games directly on versions of Fortnite downloaded from the Play Store.

The case between Epic Games and Apple is more advanced and has already dealt with this issue. Epic Games was ordered to pay Apple its fees for the amounts collected from distributing the game on the App Store with direct payments. Yet, as part of her decision, Judge Gonzalez-Rogers issued a permanent injunction against Apple for ordering company to lift restrictions on iOS apps and App Store pages providing buttons, external links and other “calls to action” that direct consumers to others purchasing mechanisms.

The injunction essentially orders Apple to drop its anti-leadership policy, which prohibited app developers from informing users of alternative shopping methods. While Apple collected its $ 6 million fee from Epic, it appealed the injunction.


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