Google Loses to Epic in Australian Court After Case Dismiss Bid Fails
Epic Games have won another battle in the legal war they launched against Google, accusing the Internet giant of anti-competitive conduct that had the popular battle royale game Fortnite removed from the Google Play store in August 2020. On February 4, 2022, the Federal Court of Australia denied a request by Google to put the Epic Games lawsuit against this US-based search engine on hold until similar proceedings in the United States courts were over. On top of having their stay application rejected, Google is now to pay Epic the legal costs it suffered.
For those not in the know, the developer of the popular online shooter game accused Google of abusing its exclusive control over the Android ecosystem, which was expressed in excessive commissions on all user payments and a ban on the use of third-party payment systems for processing in-app purchases. In other words, Epic had a problem with Google’s forcing developers to only use the company’s own in-app payment services, which requested a whopping 30% cut for any purchase made within the game.
Arguing that complying with such a requirement would lead to higher prices and fewer options for consumers and set barriers for innovation in general, Epic Games challenged Google by equipping their Fortnite Android mobile version with the ability to pay for in-game purchases, bypassing the payment mechanisms of the Google Play. The IT tech giant responded to such a daring maneuver by completely removing Fortnite from its store, which caused Epic to file lawsuits in the US and other countries, including Australia.
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