Epic Games and Match Group want to bring additional antitrust allegations against Google

Epic Games and Match Group are trying to add more allegations against the search giant to their lawsuits against Google. In a filing Friday in federal court in the Northern District of California, the two companies accused Google of paying developers who had the funds and ability to create competing Android app stores.

Specifically, Epic and Match point to agreements such as Project Hug. As part of the initiative, later dubbed the “Apps and Games Velocity Program,” Google spent millions of dollars keeping some of the most popular Android developers on the Play Store, according to a complaint Epic filed last year.

“Some of these agreements were intended to prevent developers from launching competing app stores, and have done so,” the filing reads. Google added that Google “per se” violated the Sherman Act, the primary US antitrust law. Under the Sherman Act, breaches per se do not require a plaintiff to demonstrate how a particular conduct adversely affected the market, since such conduct is generally accepted to reduce competition (e.g., price fixing falls under this category).

Google told Engadget that it would oppose the request. “Epic and Match continue to add inaccurate allegations to their failed lawsuits and we look forward to setting the record straight in court,” a company spokesman said.

“The program that Epic and Match base their claims on simply incentivizes developers to give Google Play users benefits and early access when they release new or updated content. it does not prevent developers from creating competing app stores as they claim,” they added. “Indeed, the program is proof that Google Play competes fairly with numerous competitors for developers who have a range of operating system and app store options.”

The filing comes after both Epic and Match reached temporary agreements with Google earlier this year to ensure their apps remain on the Play Store while they resolve their disputes. In a countersuit filed by Google in June, the company accused Match of trying to pay “anything at all” for access to the Play Store. Google’s store fees have also come under scrutiny from the Justice Department and a panel of more than three dozen states.

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https://www.engadget.com/epic-games-match-group-google-motion-213036490.html?src=rss Epic Games and Match Group want to bring additional antitrust allegations against Google

Russell Falcon

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