Google has called Epic’s lawsuit “meritless”


Google also removed some redactions in the state complaints, mostly relating to its internal descriptions of how Android works. In a 2017 presentation about Amazon’s App Store, for instance, Google apparently noted that “if we were honest we would admit that most users and developers aren’t consciously ‘choosing’ they are going with the default.” And in 2019, it referred to Apple and Android as “new closed internet ecosystems” that “centralized content distribution via app stores… [and] payments via app store services” — although the larger context of those remarks isn’t clear.

Google has strongly denied the claims in both suits. “The open Android ecosystem lets developers distribute apps through multiple app stores. For game developers who choose to use the Play Store, we have consistent policies that are fair to developers and keep the store safe for users,” it said in a previous comment on Epic’s amended filing. “While Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies. We will continue to defend ourselves against these meritless claims.”

Epic filed lawsuits against both Apple and Google last year after it introduced a new Fortnite payment system that sidestepped their payment systems and in-app purchase commissions, leading both companies to kick Fortnite off their mobile stores. (Fortnite is still available on Android devices via sideloading.) Epic’s case against Apple went to trial in May and is currently awaiting a ruling from the court.