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1

ID: 217746

URL: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/10/google-countersues-epic-games-for-lost-play-store-money/

Date: 2021-10-13

Google says Fortnite ’s in-app purchase swap was a breach of contract, sues Epic

Epic swapped Google Play IAPs in 2020, but the contract says it couldn't do that. Epic Games keeps piling up lawsuits with app store owners. This time, Google is countersuing Epic for breach of contract. Apple sued and got its ruling last month. Epic was ordered to pay $3.65 million in damages, covering Apple's lost revenue from Epic's three months of self-powered payments. Following that ruling, Google wants its missing money, too, and now it's countersuing Epic, hoping for a similar ruling. Google's suit reads, "Epic willfully breached the DDA [Developer Distribution Agreement] by submitting a version of Fortnite for publication on Google Play with a payment method other than Google Play Billing for purchases of in-app content. By doing this, Epic denied Google its service fee under the DDA for any purchases made through the app outside of Google Play Billing." Google continues: "The users that downloaded the non-compliant version of Fortnite before its removal from Google Play are still able to use Epics hotfixed external payment mechanism to make in-app purchases—allowing Epic to evade its contractually agreed service fee to Google for those purchases." Google argues that "Epic has alternatively been unjustly enriched at Googles expense" and is seeking restitution of its missing earnings and damages. Google's lawsuit also takes time to draw a bright line between Android and iOS, saying that, "unlike competitors like Apple, Google does not require Android users or developers to use Google Play in order to download, install, or distribute apps on Android" and that "most Android phones" come pre-loaded with multiple app stores. Google claims that "consumers and developers dont have to use Google Play; they choose to use it when given a choice among Android app stores and distribution channels." The implication: if Epic doesn't like the Play Store rules, it's free to go elsewhere.