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Epic Games Asks Judge to Require Google to Allow Competition

Epic Games

Epic Games proposed Thursday (April 11) that a federal judge require Google to allow greater competition in the distribution of apps for the Android mobile platform.

This proposal, which was put forward in a court filing, follows a jury verdict in December 2023 that found that Google had abused its power as a gatekeeper for apps for the platform, Reuters reported Friday (April 10).

Specifically, Epic Games asked the judge to require that the Google Play Store allow distribution by other, third-party app stores for six years, to restrict Google’s dealmaking with device makers that restricts the preloading of other app stores, and to stop Google from preventing apps from informing users of other, out-of-app purchasing options, according to the report.

Google has until May 3 to respond to the proposal, the report said.

The proposal is likely to face a long fight, as Google has defended its practices and denied any wrongdoing, per the report.

Google has also said that it will appeal the December verdict in the antitrust trial, according to the report.

In that verdict, a federal jury determined that the Google Play mobile app store holds a monopoly in the Android app distribution and payments market and engages in anticompetitive conduct.

Epic Games, maker of the “Fortnite” video game, initiated the lawsuit three years earlier, alleging that Google had monopolized the market through side deals with rivals and by using its resources to hinder competition.

Google defended itself by asserting that its partnerships aimed to enhance the competitiveness of Android-based phones against its market rival, Apple’s iPhone.

In February, it was reported that talks between Google and Epic Games were at a standstill after a judge asked the two sides to work toward a settlement that would resolve the video game maker’s antitrust allegations.

The two companies said in a Feb. 28 court filing that they were at an “impasse.”

The outcome of this case could have far-reaching implications, with some observers saying it could weaken app store rules in general for not only Google but also Apple.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney told Bloomberg after the December verdict: “The dominoes are going to start falling here.”