Epic wants a judge to open up the Google Play Store for good

Google Play Store home page on Android and Chrome OS
(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • After suing Google years ago for its alleged monopolistic practices regarding Android and the Google Play Store, Epic won in a surprise jury verdict last year.
  • As part of the decision, Epic has been tasked with submitting a proposed injunction to the court for consideration. In simpler terms, the court wants to know what changes Epic wants to see on the Google Play Store and Android.
  • The court filing comes a few weeks after Epic announced that it will bring the Epic Games Store to iOS and Android as an alternative app marketplace "later this year."

Epic won an antitrust case against Google last year concerning the company's practices managing the Google Play Store and Android. But even when the verdict was reached, we weren't quite sure what Epic had won. Now, we know exactly what Epic wants an open Google Play Store to look like, as the company laid out its wishes in a proposed injunction and press release.

Put simply, Epic wants complete parity between the experience of downloading apps and making payments on the Google Play Store, third-party app stores, or via sideloading. There are a lot of specifics related to that principle outlined in the proposed injunction, which is 16 pages long. Asking the company to remove screens warning users about the consequences of downloading apps from unknown sources and eliminating deals with carriers and OEMs that elevate the Google Play Store's standing are just a few examples. 

Epic is also asking for an open in-app purchase market, where developers can link to wherever they choose for digital payments. It called out Google's User Choice Billing, which is a "sham compliance program," according to Epic. 

Basically, Epic doesn't want Google to be able to offer anything that other competing app marketplaces can't. That includes exclusive apps, integration with Android APIs, and requiring use of the Google Play Store to connect with other Google products and services. Of course, Epic also wants to specifically bar Google from retaliating at developers for going around the Google Play Store. 

However, this proposed injunction is far from being enacted. Google has a chance to respond with a filing of its own by May 2, and a May 23 hearing will see the two sides explain their position with their own economic experts. The judge's final decision will likely look different than what Epic is currently asking for. Amidst all this, Google says that it still plans to appeal the original verdict. 

"Epic's filing to the US Federal Court shows again that it simply wants the benefits of Google Play without having to pay for it," a Google spokesperson told Android Central. "We'll continue to challenge the verdict, as Android is an open mobile platform that faces fierce competition from the Apple App Store, as well as app stores on Android devices, PCs and gaming consoles."

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.