It has been a couple of months since the Epic Games v Apple trial came to an end, but Epic’s legal battles are not over yet. Epic is now taking on Google in court, giving us a fresh wave of new documents – revealing that Google considered acquiring Epic Games a while back, in part due to the competitive threat posed to the Play Store.
A number of documents have been revealed as Epic Games and Google prepare to go to trial over a lawsuit. One document claims that Google discussed acquiring Epic Games to avoid any competitive threat to the Play Store. Google also considered teaming up with Tencent in order to pull it off.
Any takeover of Epic Games would require some input from Tencent, as the company is one of Epic's largest shareholders, with a 40 percent stake in the company. In Epic's complaint against Google (via Protocol), the company states:
“Google recognised that Epic might not accept its offer. ‘As a potential alternative’, a senior Google executive proposed that Google ‘consider approaching Tencent,’ a company that owns a minority stake in Epic, ‘to either (a) buy Epic shares from Tencent to get more control over Epic’, or ‘(b) join up with Tencent to buy 100% of Epic’.”
After Fortnite implemented alternative payment methods to circumvent the Google Play Store revenue cut on microtransactions, the game was booted from the store entirely. In the wake of this, Google went on a spending spree, spending hundreds of millions of dollars to ensure other large app developers remain on the Play Store and don't publish on rival Android app stores.
Currently, Epic Games is suing both Apple and Google over their mobile app store dominance and anti-competitive business practices. The trial against Apple has already concluded, and the Google trial is set to begin later this month.
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KitGuru Says: We're learning some very interesting details about the behind-the-scenes business of app stores and mobile software development. We're bound to hear some more stories leading up to, and over the course of the Epic V Google trial.