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Epic Games files anti-competition claim against Google in Australia

The gloves are off.

Epic Games has filed a legal claim against Google with the Federal Court of Australia, alleging Google’s anti-competitive conduct is in breach of Australian Consumer Law and “various sections” of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).

The legal claim is in response to Google pulling Fortnite from the Google Play Store after Epic Games established a direct system of payment that bypassed Google’s Android application storefront and follows similar legal action by Epic Games against Apple and its iOS Apple App Store alongside legal action taken in the United States of America.

The claim was filed earlier this week and alleges that “Google’s conduct has hindered or prevented, and continues to hinder and prevent, Epic and other app developers and in-app content payment providers from competing or effectively competing in the Android App Distribution Market and the Android In-App Payment Processing Market, including in Australia. This has resulted in reduced innovation, lower quality apps, reduced consumer choice and higher prices for both developers and consumers.”

“Google gives the illusion of being open by making arguments about the presence of alternative app stores on its platform or allowing direct downloading of apps from third party providers, but in reality these situations are so rare that they barely make a dent in the monopoly of the Android OS”, said Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney.

“The barriers Google places on Android OS are real. In the case of direct downloading, it makes the process so difficult and scary that it deters users from downloading apps from third party-websites even though it is a totally normal way for users to get apps on a desktop. It’s actions like this that illustrate Google is more interested in feigning openness than delivering choice to consumers. We believe consumers have the right to install apps from sources of their choosing and developers have the right to compete in a fair marketplace.”

Fortnite was pulled from the Google Play Store on 14 August 2020 and from the Apple App Store on that same day.

Fortnite is currently available on Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5 and Switch.

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for close to fifteen years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.