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Google prosecutes Epic Games for avoiding in-app purchasesIn August 2020, Epic Games launched a two-pronged attack when it implemented a direct payment method for Fortnite in-app purchases, abolishing Apple and Google Store commissions. This game has been removed from both App Store and Google Play.
On Monday, Google filed a counterclaim against Epic Games, alleging breach of contract. The complaint alleges that the introduction of an external payment system to prevent the Play Store from paying off its in-app purchases is a deliberate violation of the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA). Many users have purchased Fortnite through the Play Store and are still using an alternative payment system.
“Google did not disable Epic’s developer account and indicated that Epic could publish a new, compliant version of Fortnite,” the countersuit argues. “The users that downloaded the non-compliant version of Fortnite before its removal from Google Play are still able to use Epic’s hotfixed external payment mechanism to make in-app purchases—allowing Epic to evade its contractually agreed service fee to Google for those purchases.”
This incident has put Epic in a difficult position. However, when users can still get lower prices using the alternative method, there is no chance of downloading the update. While Google Docs does not list the dollar value of losses, 30% of Fortnite revenue from Android users is probably a significant amount.
The chances of Google winning the counterclaim are very high given that Apple has filed a similar lawsuit and has been awarded more than $ 3.6 million. This figure does not seem significant, it’s only based on the revenue ($ 12,167,719) received between August 2020 and October 2020. If you win, the Google Rewards can be seven times that amount or more.