In August 2020, Epic Games launched a two-pronged attack and canceled Apple and Google Store commissions when Fortnite launched in-app purchases. The game has been removed from the App Store and Google Play, which was used by Epic as an incentive to file antitrust lawsuits against both tech giants.
On Monday, Google filed a counterclaim against Epic Games for alleged breach of contract. The lawsuit alleges that the introduction of an external payment system to prevent Play Store commissions from paying in-app purchases is a willful violation of the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA). Unlike iOS, developers have more than one way to distribute apps to users, however, when they decide to sell their apps through Google Play, they agree to pay 30% commission for in-app purchases.
Google claims that Epic violated this Agreement when it provided an updated update. The off-platform payment method adds that it violates this provision as many Fortnite users have made purchases through the Play Store and are still using an alternative payment system. Google claims to have a share of this sale.
"Google has not deactivated the Epic developer account and indicated that Epic could release a new compatible version of Fortnite." "Users who downloaded the incompatible version of Fortnite before it was removed from Google Play can still use Epic's third-party payment mechanism to make in-app purchases - allow Epic to get away with the cost of its agreed services with Google for these purchases."
This puts Epic's suit in a difficult situation. The only solution is a Fortnite patch release that removes the external push system. However, users will likely not download the update, while still being able to use the replacement price. So Epic will also have to temporarily cancel their payment system so that players can update the game.
Plus, it's been a year since it all started. Although the Google docs don't mention the amount of damages, 30% of Fortnite's annual revenue from Android users is likely to be a significant amount.
Google is likely to win a lawsuit, given that Apple has filed a lawsuit. A similar lawsuit won more than $3.6 million. This number doesn't seem very significant, but it is based solely on income ($12,167,719) received between August 2020 and October 2020. If you win, Google Rewards can be seven times that amount or more.
Google is suing Epic Games for dodging in-app purchases