Google reportedly considered acquiring Epic Games due to Fortnite storefront controversy

Fortnite Aloy
Fortnite Aloy (Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

What you need to know

  • Epic Games recently refiled a lawsuit against Google, alleging anticompetitive behavior.
  • Google lifted redacted portions of Epic Games' complaint.
  • These redactions reveal that Epic Games claims Google was considering buying Epic Games to stave off the problem caused by alternate storefronts.

Google considered acquiring Epic Games, at least in part due to Fortnite's plans to use alternate storefronts and sidestep Google Pay. This news comes via recently-unsealed court documents relevant to an amended lawsuit from Epic Games against Google. The filings give further detail on Google's alleged anti-competitive practices, including working with OEM partners and sharing increased revenue in exchange for preventing any other storefronts from being pre-installed on any of the best Android Phones.

The controversy between both companies comes from Epic Games' attempt to provide its megahit free-to-play title Fortnite on Android devices outside of the Google Play Store.

"Whether this would have been a negotiation to buy Epic or some sort of hostile takeover attempt is unclear," Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said via Twitter.

Much of the filing remains redacted, but Epic Games states in its complaints that 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."

Google is also currently faced with a lawsuit led by the New York Attorney General regarding Google Play Store policies. Experts are currently suggesting that Google has a "steep hill to climb" in proving the fair nature of its policies.

Epic has been challenging not just Google but also Apple in court, with a number of intriguing findings across the video game industry as a whole revealed during the much-publicized Apple vs. Epic Games court case. Just some of the information coming out of that legal battle includes the news that Epic Games offered up for $200 million for Sony to bring some its exclusive titles to the Epic Games Store.

Samuel Tolbert

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on PlayStation on Android Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert