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Google considered buying Epic Games during Fortnite App Clash

The Epic Games V Apple Lawsuit continues to rage on and revealing major gaming secrets of the industry. However, this is not the only lawsuit that Epic is involved in the legal world, we got the Google antitrust complaint that Epic has filed which claims that the Android ecosystem discourages competition.

The Verge has unveiled the latest secret through recently unsealed court findings, Google reportedly considered buying some or all of Epic Games while the two companies were sparring over Epic’s Fortnite Android App.

Epic claims that Google was threatened by its plans to sidestep Google’s official Play Store Commission by distributing the game through other channels. Google strongly considered buying Epic Games so that it could not compete against Google. Epic revealed that Google offered it a ‘Special Deal’ to launch the game on the Play Store and also got contacted by a Google Play Manager who admitted that sideloading the app was a complicated process.

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Essentially, Epic alleges that even the staff has knowledge that there are multiple barriers that are placed so that users get strongarmed into installing apps directly via Google Play Store.

Staff members have acknowledged internally that the difficulty Google imposes on consumers who wish to directly download apps leads to a poorer user experience, there are nearly 15+ steps involved to get an app via sideloading in comparison to the 2 steps on the Play Store or on iOS.

Epic also cited an internal document of Google that called Epic’s plan a ‘Contagion’ which would threaten Google. Google has a history of using its size, influence, power, and money to induce third parties into anticompetitive agreements that further entrench its monopolies.

For instance, Google has gone so far as to sharing its monopoly profits with business partners to secure their agreement to fence out the competition. It has also developed a series of internal projects to address the ‘contagion’ posed by Epic and others to offer consumers and developers competitive alternatives, primarily by attempting to acquire some or all of Epic to quash the threat.

Tim Sweeney from Epic Games spoke about this publicly on Twitter stating that this was unknown to Epic at the time of filing the complaint. They are finding this out now due to the court’s protective order.

Google denied the claims in Epic’s antitrust lawsuit by stating that the open Android ecosystem allows developers to distribute apps through multiple app stores. For game developers who choose to use the Play Store, Google has consistent policies that are fair to developers and keeps the store safe for users.

It also claimed in a previous filing that while Fortnite remains available on Android, it can no longer be made available on the Play Store as it violates Google’s policies.

The amount of facts and secrets that have arisen during the course of this legal battle is incredible. All of this began when Fortnite introduced a payment system that bypassed their in-app purchase commissions.

Keeping this in mind, we can only wonder what other insidious tactics, Google and Apple have adopted to maintain a monopoly in their environments.

Also read:

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Sumedh Joshi
Sumedh Joshi
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