Google countersuing Epic Games over in-app purchases in Fortnite

By now, the dragged out legal proceedings between Epic Games and Apple are well known by all.

Now Google has entered the fray again over in-app purchases in Fortnite, with the company countersuing (PDF) Epic Games saying it “willfully breached” its developer agreement for the Google Play Store.

This according to a report by ZDNet, which cites an official company complaint that states that, “Epic has alternatively been unjustly enriched at Google’s expense.”

Google has explained that it is happy for Epic Games to implement its own payment system which circumvents the need for the Play Store, but as a result, Fortnite would have to be accessed via other means on an Android device that features Google’s mobile marketplace.

“Consumers and developers don’t have to use Google Play, they choose to use it when given a choice among Android app stores and distribution channels. Google supports that choice through Android itself, Google Play’s policies, and Google’s agreements with developers and device manufacturers,” it argued in its complaint.

As Engadget correctly points out, given that Google was handed an antitrust suit involving 38 states in the US over paying phone makers to use the Play Store alone to access mobile content, the effort to countersue may prove unsuccessful.

Either way, the issues involving app stores and third-party payment options continues to drag on, and this is only the latest chapter with Epic Games at the centre.

Given that Apple has had to bite the bullet in this regard in recent months, it looks increasingly likely that Google may suffer the same hurdles.

[Image – Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash]


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