What you need to know
- Google has filed a counter claim against Fortnite maker Epic Games' lawsuit.
- The search giant has accused Epic Games of willfully breaching the terms of its Play Store contract by introducing a new payment system.
- Epic had sued Google in August last year, shortly after Fortnite was removed from the Play Store.
Google has countersued Epic Games and accused the company of willfully violating the Google Play Store Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA).
Epic willfully breached the DDA by submitting a version of Fortnite for publication on Google Play with a payment method other than Google Play Billing for purchase of in-app content.
Even though Fortnite has been removed from the Play Store, there are still millions of Android users who continue to have access to the app. Google claims Epic has been "unjustly enriched" at its expense and is seeking compensation for the service fees that it has lost because of Epic's direct payment system.
The complaint also says that Google did not disable Epic Games' developer account after removing Fortnite from the Play Store, leaving the door open for the company to publish a new, compliant version of the app.
Additionally, the complaint states that Google doesn't force developers or users to use the Play Store to download, install, or distribute apps on Android.
Far from generating anticompetitive harm, Android and Google Play bring enormous benefits to developers and users — and they do so at zero cost to users and minimal cost to developers in the vast majority of cases.
Epic Games had sued Google in August last year after Fortnite was removed from the Play Store in response to an update that encouraged users to bypass Play Billing. Apple countersued Epic Games just a month after Epic filed a lawsuit against it over Fortnite's removal from the App Store.