Fortnite maker accuses Google of monopoly abuse in new court filing

Fortnite on Android
Fortnite on Android (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google and Epic Games have filed their joint case management statement ahead of the case management conference next week.
  • Epic Games wants to get a day in court at the earliest, while Google plans to bring a motion to get the case dismissed.
  • Epic claims it has suffered 'irreparable harm' because of Fortnite's removal from the Play Store.

Last month, a filing made on Google's behalf revealed that the search giant plans to bring a motion to get Epic Games' Fortnite case dismissed. Ahead of the case management conference in San Francisco next Thursday, both Epic Games and Google have filed their joint case management statement (opens in new tab) with the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California (via FOSS Patents).

In its statement, Epic Games has claimed that Google leverages its monopoly in the merchant market for mobile operating systems to maintain monopolies in the Android app distribution and in-app payment processing markets. It says Google has taken a number of steps to discourage app downloads outside of the Play Store and forces app developers into using Google Play Billing to process in-app purchases.

The game developer claims Fortnite was removed from the Play Store "for introducing competition to Google Play Billing." It claims to have suffered "irreparable harm" due to the move, as Fortnite's removal from the Play Store has made it impossible to distribute the game to a large number of Android users who do not download apps through alternative app stores.

While Epic wants the case to go to trial as soon as possible, Google wants to get it dismissed before it even begins. In its statement, Google has said that it hasn't retaliated against Epic and any harm the game developer has suffered "is of its own making."

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Babu Mohan
News Writer
  • Epic is like the rich, whiny brat kid right now.
  • Pretty much. 1. Agreed to abide by Google's Terms in order to host their software on Play.
    2. Expressly violated those terms in a way that caused financial damage (in the form of lowered revenues) to Google against what they had commited to in exchange for the benefits of being on Play.
    3. Removed from Play for that violation in accordance with the agreed upon Terms.
    4. Waaaaaaaah!!!!! They got greedy, tried to cheat the system, and got caught and ejected. If they wanted to push the cited argument against Google, they should have taken on that task before agreeing to play by Google's rules in the first place.
  • Thing is, they're attempting to put the system on trial. Which, frankly the way mobile device software commerce works is broken. Look at how software was bought, sold, and installed on computers from the their inception to now. There were a myriad of marketplaces, or you could sell your software independently. Now, primarily you must install software from an app store that comes with your device (I do understand that's not the case for android but it is certainly the case for iOS). A marketplace should have the right to set the terms of being included within, but also you should not have a marketplace monopoly.