From a motion filed on Friday, it appears that Epic Games and Match Group are looking to expand their lawsuit against Google. The two companies have accused Google of paying off developers that may have had the capabilities to create a competing Android app store.
The motion states that Epic and Match seek to amend their complaints to add two new counts against Google. The new counts are based upon anti-competitive agreements and that a “per se” of the Sherman Act was committed by Google, which violates antitrust laws within the United States. A per se violation would mean that the actions taken are considered a clear intent to reduce competition.
An escalated matter
Engadget reports that Google will be opposing the motion in a statement saying “Epic and Match are adding more inaccurate claims to their failing lawsuits and we're looking forward to setting the record straight in court.”
The statement given by a company spokesperson went on to say “The program on which Epic and Match base their claims simply provides incentives for developers to give benefits and early access to Google Play users when they release new or updated content, it does not prevent developers from creating competing app stores, as they allege. In fact, the program is proof that Google Play competes fairly with numerous rivals for developers, who have a number of choices for operating systems and app stores.”
Epic and Match previously made a temporary agreement with Google which ensured that their apps would remain on the Play Store whilst the lawsuit was ongoing. The outcome of the lawsuit could see Google amending its approach to how it operates,and how it encourages developers to remain on the Google Play store instead of switching to an alternate service.
Phil Harrison, vice president, and general manager of Stadia recently announced that Google Stadia is set to end its services in 2023.