Google And Epic Now Center Of Legal Dispute After Apple Ruling

With the Apple versus Epic ruling last month (and Apple heading into the long and winding appeals process), attention now turns to Google. A very similar case is now unfolding between Epic and Google, where Epic argues that Google is anti-competitive and a virtual monopoly, while Google argues that it's not and Epic is just making a fuss over nothing.

Epic initially filed suit against Google in August 2020 (right around the same time they filed suit against Apple), but Google waited until there was a ruling in the Apple v. Epic case before filing its countersuit. Google countersued on October 11 (via ZDNet), arguing that Android is a "critical source of competition against other operating systems, such as Apple's iOS." Google also argues that Epic deliberately baited Google into a legal fight by releasing Fortnite on the Google Play Store, only to immediately breach its contract as soon as Fortnite was updated to bypass Google's payment platform.

Further into the suit, Google brings up revelations from the Apple v. Epic case, such as how Epic CEO Tim Sweeney tipped off Xbox chief Phil Spencer in an email to his overall plan to end Google and Apple's 30% cut on their respective app stores. Called Project Liberty, the plan was to launch Fortnite on both app stores and then deliberately breach their contracts to bypass both stores while simultaneously launching a media blitz to generate public goodwill.

Of course, Epic could always respond that Google also had its own machinations. Project Hug was Google's attempt to retain developers by paying them to stay on the Google Play store rather than make their own third-party payment programs, making secret deals worth hundreds of millions.

Epic also has emails about how Google tried to buy it out just to shut down the lawsuit.

Google is demanding a trial by jury, along with punitive damages and restitution of profits. No court date has been set.

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