When furious Google fought fierce battle over Fortnite app against Epic Games
With Fortnite app not paying commission to Google Play Store, Google considered buying out Epic Games, likely through a hostile takeover.
Fortnite online game-maker Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against both Apple and Google last year after it was kicked out of the App Store and the Google Play Store respectively for introducing a payment system that sidestepped the in-app purchase commissions for the two companies. Now, newly unsealed court documents have revealed that the case had so infuriated Google that it had even considered buying ‘some or all' of Epic Games as the two companies battled over Fortnite Android app not paying commission to Google Play Store.
Epic Games in its complaint against Google has claimed that the tech giant was threatened by its plans to sidestep Google's official Play Store commission by distributing Fortnite through other channels. “Google has gone so far as to share its monopoly profits with business partners to secure their agreement to fence out the 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,” the company wrote in the unredacted segment of its complaint (as reported by The Verge).
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In another segment of the unredacted court documents, Epic Games said that Google offered it a ‘special deal' to launch Fortnite on its Play Store. The complaint also said that a Google Play manager reached out to Epic Games about the company's plans of sideloading Fortnite while admitting that sideloading was a ‘frankly abysmal' experience.
“One manager contacted Epic's Vice President and Co-Founder to gauge Epic's interest in a special deal and, among other things, discussed “the experience of getting Fortnite on Android” via direct downloading. The manager's call notes state that she viewed direct downloading Fortnite as “frankly abysmal” and “an awful experience”, and that Epic should “worry that most will not go through the 15+ steps,” Epic Games wrote in another unredacted segment of the game.
Responding to this news, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney in a Tweet wrote that Google's plan was “unbeknownst to us at the time”. “This was unbeknownst to us at the time, and because of the court's protective order we're just finding out now about Google's consideration of buying Epic to shut down our efforts to compete with Google Play,” he wrote.
“Whether this would have been a negotiation to buy Epic or some sort of hostile takeover attempt is unclear...Here Google also talks about the “frankly abysmal” sideloading experience they created, all while touting Android publicly as an “open platform”,” he added.
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