Epic Games Files Legal Claim Against Google In Australia

Sydney:  Fortnite creator Epic Games on Wednesday said that it has filed a legal claim against Google with the Federal Court of Australia, continuing what it calls “pursuit for fairer digital platforms globally”.

Epic has already filed a claim with the court against Apple on similar grounds.

In the claim, Epic alleges that Google’s anti-competitive conduct breaches the Australian Consumer Law as well as various sections of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The company has alleged that Google abuses its control over the Android operating system restricting competition in payment processing and app distribution on the Google Play Store.

This harmful conduct stifles innovation, reduces consumer choice and inflates prices, Epic claimed.

Epic said that for apps obtained through the Google Play Store developers are forced to use Google’s in-app payment services that take a 30 per cent commission. Google also makes it “egregiously difficult to download apps directly onto Android devices, forcing the vast majority of users to obtain apps through the Google Play Store.”

“Google gives the illusion of being open by making arguments about the presence of alternative app stores on its platform or allowing direct downloading of apps from third party providers, but in reality these situations are so rare that they barely make a dent in the monopoly of the Android OS,” Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said in a statement.

“The barriers Google places on Android OS are real. In the case of direct downloading, it makes the process so difficult and scary that it deters users from downloading apps from third party-websites even though it is a totally normal way for users to get apps on a desktop.”

This claim complements legal proceedings already underway in the US and UK, as well as an antitrust complaint against Apple in the European Union.

Epic said it is not seeking damages from Google or Apple.

The Fortnite creator said it is simply seeking fair access and competition that will benefit consumers and developers.

Fortnite was removed from Apple and Google’s app stores worldwide after it broke rules about in-app purchases.


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