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Google Asks Court to Dismiss Multiple Claims in Epic Games Antitrust Trial

Google is looking for ways to quickly resolve antitrust litigation with the manufacturer of Fortnite Epic Games, Match Group, and the Attorney General of California.

Google Asks Court to Dismiss Multiple Claims in Epic Games Antitrust Trial

Source: Pixabay.com

The tech giant’s legal team has filed a new lawsuit, which contains requests to reject several of the plaintiff’s arguments that relate to the nature of the App Store business, revenue-sharing agreements, and other projects related to this platform. The company stated that the court should have a large amount of information to make a final decision on this case and noted that the mentioned arguments do not relate to illegal practices from the point of view of antitrust.

If the court agrees to the claim from Google, the proceedings will continue anyway, since there will be other claims. The tech giant is interested in obtaining a court decision on several lawsuits that are of primary importance for the ability of plaintiffs to provide evidence of behavior that violates the rules of fair competition.

The new lawsuit was filed in the hope that the court would not recognize as valid the claim that Google’s distribution agreement among developers is illegal since it establishes a ban on distribution in other app stores. The tech giant claims that it has no legal obligation to add applications to other platforms. Google also notes that several app stores are pre-installed on most Android devices.

A Google spokesperson said in a statement that Android is the only major mobile platform that does not prohibit the installation of multiple stores with different digital products. Special attention in this statement is drawn to the fact that Epic, Match Group, and the Attorney General ignore the openness and choice offered by the operating system and Google Play.

The tech giant also wants to reject the argument against Project Hug, a program run by Google that was designed to encourage Android game developers to keep their products on the Play Store. The plaintiffs said that the technology giant, avoiding public disclosure, paid the creators of the games millions of dollars in incentives. Epic Games claimed Google was afraid that other developers would follow the example of this company after the exclusive release of Fortnite for Android outside the United States. There are also claims that the tech giant was worried that Epic might conclude other exclusive pre-installation deals with hardware manufacturers.

Google claims that Project Hug is not an anti-competition program, and the plaintiffs misunderstood the essence of this initiative. The tech giant claims that in this case, developers received a number of advantages and early access to Play Store users. The company claims that there was no interference with the activities of competing app stores.

The tech giant also rejects claims about revenue-sharing agreements with wireless carriers. The company stated that the limitation period does not apply to operators. Google reports that the agreements expired more than four years ago, which is why they should be rejected.

The company also claims that AGs and consumer class failed to prove that Google harmed competition by selling app subscriptions and in-app purchases to consumers.

The latter claim is based on the assertion that in order to purchase one product, the consumer had to purchase another product. The plaintiffs claimed that Google Play and billing services are illegally linked to each other, but the company rejects these accusations, calling them false. The tech giant notes that more than 90% of the apps in the Play Store are free.

The new reason for the partial summary judgment came shortly after the decision taken last month on the need for sanctions measures due to the fact that Google cannot save some of its messages for detection. The plaintiffs demonstrated that the company’s employees, as a rule, disabled the chat history during internal discussions when trying to destroy confidential messages related to the case. The Justice Department recently cited the same issue in its own antitrust investigation.

Google asked to postpone the trial. In response to this, a refusal was received.

As we have reported earlier, Nine More US States Join Lawsuit Against Google.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.