Google Antitrust lawsuit: A number of new allegations have been added to Epic Games and Match Group’s lawsuits against Google. Both companies accuse Google of paying off developers who were able to create their own Android app stores. A motion was filed a few days ago with a federal court in the Northern District of California. Tinder and OKCupid are owned by Match Group, while Fortnite is owned by Epic Games. Since Google operates the dominant Android app store, these companies believe that Google has monopolistic power.
In an interview reported by Engadget, Epic and Match alleged that Google was providing millions of dollars to ensure that popular Android developers remained on the Play Store as a result of agreements such as Project Hug, which was renamed the “Apps and Games Velocity Program” last year.
According to the motion filed by Match and Epic on Friday, “Some of these agreements were intended to prevent developers from launching competing app stores.” The complaint accuses Google of violating the Sherman Act, which is the primary antitrust law in the US. Google is accused of violating a “per se” law, which means that the plaintiff does not need to demonstrate how the alleged behavior has negatively impacted the market, since it is generally believed that such behaviors and actions reduce competition (price fixing is an example of a “per se” violation). For example, “as is” violations).
In a comment to Engadget, Google stated that it would oppose the motion. In a statement to the publication, a spokesperson stated, “Epic and Match are adding inaccurate claims to their failing lawsuits, and we are looking forward to setting the record straight in court.”
According to the Google spokesperson, the program Epic and Match are referring to is aimed at providing “incentives” for developers to give early access and other benefits to Google Play users when they produce new or updated content. The company explained that the program “does not prevent developers from creating competing app stores” and that it is “proof that Google Play competes fairly with numerous rivals for developers who have numerous options for operating systems and app stores.”.
In an attempt to ensure that their apps could remain on the Play Store, Epic and Match reached temporary agreements with Google earlier this year. In addition to being a topic of contention, the fee Google charges for the use of the Play Store has been examined by the Department of Justice, while the company is facing growing antitrust scrutiny in the European Union and India.
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