Intending to speed the resolution of its antitrust legal battle with Epic Games, State Attorney General, and Match Group, tech giant Google has urged the court to dismiss most of the arguments about its revenue sharing agreements, app store business model, and other app store-related projects.
Google’s legal team has produced a new filing to the court which will render adequate information to help figure out the rationality of Google’s claims.
The tech giant believes that none of its play store items violates the antitrust law. If the court accepts Google’s appeal, the trial would still continue as there are other claims which need to be sorted out from a legal perspective. Notably, Google is looking forward to the court’s decision on five primary claims seemingly crucial to the plaintiff’s ability to seal the alleged anticompetitive behavior.
Google believes that the court should dismiss the claim that the developer distribution agreement of the company is illegal on the ground that it prevents the distribution to other app stores. The company states that it hasn’t set any legal obligation to distribute to other app stores. In addition, it declares that the new generation Android devices typically feature more than one preloaded app store.
Google has also claimed that if consumers want, they can freely go ahead and install additional app stores using the web browser.
According to a Google spokesperson, Android is the only mobile platform that supports multiple app stores. In fact, most Android devices feature at least two built-in app stores with the ability to support others. However, the Match Group, Epic, and the State Attorney General are deliberately overlooking this flexibility and choice offered by Google Play and Android.
Besides the play store argument, Google is also looking forward to dismissing another dispute which primarily focuses on a Google-run program called Project Hug. The program was launched to incentivize Android game developers to make their applications available on the Google Play Store.
The Alleged Bribing
According to the Litigants’ claim, Google has offered under-table payments to game developers to encourage them to launch their applications on the play store. They also argue that the payment amount was huge, and Google has tried making it look legal by naming it the Apps and Games Velocity Program.
According to Epic Games, Google introduced the debated program because the company was scared of its competitors. It wanted to stop other developers from following its lead after the exclusive launch of Fortnite for Android outside the play store through its own installer.
The Fortnite maker also claimed that Google wanted to monopolize the system as the organization was pretty afraid that Epic would keep the momentum going with other preinstalled deals. Besides, it may team up with OEMs like Samsung to cut down the revenue splits. However, Google is not ready to agree with the raised allegations.
According to Google, Project Hug never intended to prevent them from building competing app stores.
According to the tech giant, Project Hug was never meant to be anticompetitive – the petitioners are trying to mischaracterize the program. It focused solely on motivating developers to use Google Play Store to release new or updated content.
The claimants, on the other hand, are not ready to accept Google’s explanation on the matter. They have successfully proved that Google employees often switch off chat history or internal discussions to remove sensitive communications associated with the case. While Google earlier requested the trial to be delayed, it was denied.
We are seeking to join Indian developers in court to support the CCI’s order that requires Google to allow competing third-party app stores.Bakari Middleton, the director of Global Public Policy at Epic Games
Google has been experiencing multiple legal issues these days. Last month, it lost a legal fight with the Competition Commission of India (CCI), which made the organization agree that it would make changes to its Android operating system. For instance, it would discontinue the practice of forcing device makers to pre-install a library of Google apps like Chrome or YouTube.
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