This afternoon has been an interesting one for fans of Apple, Google, and Fortnite alike, as the three companies have become intermingled in a pair of lawsuits. Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, have now filed a lawsuit against Google for anticompetitive practices between Android and the Google Play Store.

As reported by The Verge, Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against Google for its handling of the Google Play Store. The filing comes just hours after Fortnite was removed from the Play Store, as well as a similar lawsuit filing against Apple.

Just as in the Apple lawsuit, Epic Games comes out strong in the opening statement, this time attacking Google’s classic, somewhat recently removed “Don’t Be Evil” motto.

Google’s Code of Conduct explained that this admonishment was about “how we serve our users” and “much more than that . . . it’s also about doing the right thing more generally”. Twenty-two years later, Google has relegated its motto to nearly an afterthought, and is using its size to do evil upon competitors, innovators, customers, and users in a slew of markets it has grown to monopolize.

Further in the filing, Epic Games cites many deeper reasons for the antitrust lawsuit beyond this afternoon’s removal of Fortnite from the Play Store. For example, Epic claims that Google coerced OnePlus into reneging on a deal that would have seen OnePlus phones come with an “Epic Games Store” app pre-installed, which would be able to download and update games like Fortnite.

From our reading, Epic’s goal with this lawsuit and the one against Apple is to have the opportunity to launch their Epic Games Store on Android and iOS in a way that the stores could reasonably compete with the Play Store and App Store without forcing app and game developers to give up 30% of their in-app purchase revenue.

Indeed, Epic, which distributes gaming apps through its own store to users of personal computers, would open a store to compete with Google’s and offer developers more innovation and more choice, including in payment processing. App developers would not have to pay Google’s supra-competitive tax of 30%, as the price of distribution and payment processing alike would be set by market forces rather than by Google’s fiat.

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About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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