Google’s Fortnite removal from the Play Store caused irreparable harm to Epic Games. That’s one of the claims that Epic is making in its new court filing that was issued on October 2 in a joint filing with Google.
According to Epic Games, Google’s removal of Fortnite from the Play Store is a gross abuse of the search company’s monopoly on the merchant market for mobile operating systems. Further noting that Google is using this monopoly to maintain control over Android app distribution and in-app payment processing.
Basically, it’s the same song and dance from the court case with Apple. Here’s a statement from Epic’s filing against Apple from back on September 4. “Apple is a monopolist. It controls all app distribution on iOS. All in-app payment processing for digital content on iOS. It unlawfully maintains these two monopolies by explicitly prohibiting any competitive entry in either market.”
Epic Games’ attack on Google over the Fortnite removal seems timely
Epic’s war against Apple isn’t going well. Likely it thought things would go very differently. But close to two months after this whole situation started, Epic is no closer to getting Fortnite back on the App store.
Now it’s turning its focus more towards Google, at least for the time being. And it all seems very timely considering the less than successful run it’s been having in its fight against Apple.
In addition to the above claims, it also says that Google has taken a “number of steps” to discourage users from downloading apps outside of the Play Store. That’s not really untrue either. Google does discourage users from downloading apps outside of the Play Store. For one big reason.
Security. For years, Android has had significant issues with apps that are installed from unsecure sources carrying malware. And for years, Google has tried to dissuade users from engaging in this practice. The practice of grabbing app APKs from outside sources because it’s less safe.
Fornite was taken down from the Play Store “for introducing competition”
The claims continue to accuse Google of coming to its decision to take down Fortnite for reasons other than the fact that Epic Games simply broke the rules. Violating Google’s Play Store policy.
According to Epic Games, Google simply pulled Fortnite down because Epic introduced billing that competed with Google. It’s unclear whether or not these claims will play out in Epic’s favor or not. The case management conference is due to happen next week.
Google meanwhile is trying to stop things from moving forward before that point. Echoing the same sentiment that Apple has when it stated that Epic Games caused these issues for itself.