Another unpleasant detail came to light through the antitrust lawsuit initiated by Epic Games in 2020, which investigates the anti-competitive practices of Google and Apple in connection with their digital app stores and operating systems. As it turns out, both Activision Blizzard and Riot Games had previously considered developing their own mobile app stores, but Google paid them off so they wouldn’t eventually launch their own alternatives. Based on the business documents, Google paid Activision Blizzard a total of $360 million over three years, while Riot was paid $30 million for one year. According to the court paper, the search firm may have entered into a total of 24 such agreements with development companies.
According to one of the documents, when Google learned that Activision Blizzard was planning to launch a mobile distribution platform that would have lured developers with more favorable terms than the search company’s proven solution, it offered a settlement. According to another document, the search giant also acted similarly when it learned that Riot Games, responsible for League of Legends, was also considering the development of an app store, offering to pay the sum of $30 million.
Digital footprint is slowly becoming a standard accessory (x)Thyssenkrupp’s government systems already have a considerable wealth of data.
Digital footprint is slowly becoming a standard accessory (x) Thyssenkrupp’s government systems already have a considerable wealth of data.
The agreements with developers are part of a program known as “Project Hug”, which is described as aiming to encourage and support Android developers, but according to critics, it actually wants to prevent the use of competing app stores.
Google and Activision have denied Epic’s allegations: a spokesperson for Activision said that Google never pressured it to prevent competition and that Epic Games’ claims are baseless. According to the spokesperson of the search company, Epic presents their business agreements in a bad light and misleadingly. The company already lost a similar case against Apple last year, in connection with which the second instance judgment will be handed down next year.
In the summer of 2020, Epic Games launched a campaign against Google and Apple after the two companies removed the publisher’s popular Fortnite battle royale game from their mobile app stores, after the company introduced an in-app payment option that bypasses the platform owners’ own systems. Although Epic Games left the Apple App Store and Google Play Store payment options in the application, with the friendlier pricing of its own solution, it is unlikely that users would have used the platforms’ own channels. Both Google and Apple reacted with lightning speed to the update introducing the detour, both companies immediately removed the Fortnite filter from their app stores. After that, Epic Games did not hesitate either, and filed a lawsuit against the search giant and the Cupertino company on the same day.
The court ruled last year that Epic had clearly breached the contract with Apple by incorporating its own payment option into Fortnite. According to this, Apple must abandon its practice of prohibiting developers from implementing external payment solutions.
Source: HWSW Informatikai Hírmagazin by www.hwsw.hu.
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