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Google Intended To Buy Epic Games Amid Its Tensions With Them

Fortnite AH NS 09
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According to the newly revealed court filings, Google tried to buy all or a part of Epic Games during their clashes over the Fortnite Android app. Dates back to 2020, Google removed Fortnite from its Play Store due to the so-called violation of policies.

Legal issues between the two companies have not yet been resolved, but it appears that Google was considering buying Epic as part of its plan to close the case. Epic claims that Google has pursued and exaggerated its monopoly policies.

“Google has gone so far as to share its monopoly profits with business partners to secure their agreement to fence out competition, has developed a series of internal projects to address the “contagion” it perceived from efforts by Epic and others to offer consumers and developers competitive alternatives, and has even contemplated buying some or all of Epic to squelch this threat.” Epic noted.

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Of course, Google never made its decision public, and the talk of buying Epic was just an internal conversation. However, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney does not seem happy with this. In a recent tweet, he stated that Google intended to buy Epic to “shut down our efforts to compete with Google Play.”

Google offered a “special deal” to Epic

In other parts of the filings, Epic claims that one of the Google Play managers has reached them to offer a special deal to the company. Google Play executives also talked about the Fortnite app’s direct download policy on Android and described it as a “frankly abysmal” experience.

“One manager contacted Epic’s Vice President and Co-Founder to gauge Epic’s interest in a special deal and, among other things, discussed “the experience of getting Fortnite on Android” via direct downloading. The manager’s call notes state that she viewed directly downloading Fortnite as “frankly abysmal” and “an awful experience”, and that Epic should “worry that most will not go through the 15+ steps.”

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Google was aware that sideloading could be a terrible experience for users. However, it “will drastically limit [its] reach.” Also, this policy makes Fortnite future updates a challenge for users and Epic.

In part of its complaint, Epic has stated that hindering the direct download of applications on Android devices is a policy that Google has taken to maintain its app distribution monopoly. Also, this policy limits “developers’ ability to distribute their apps,”

Following the Epic lawsuit, similar lawsuits have been filed against Google. In one of them, a group of state attorneys general accused Google of being dishonest about the openness of Android. According to these state attorneys, Google deliberately hinders the direct download of applications.

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