According to court documents, Google is said to have planned the acquisition of Epic Games to prevent a competing app store. There was no offer.
Google is said to have considered buying game developer Epic Games. At least, that is what Epic Games claims in court documents, which have recently been made available partially unredacted. According to the document, Google is said to have considered buying Epic or business shares in order to prevent the emergence of an alternative app store to the Google Play Store. According to the document, Google referred to such a possible development as a “plague.”
Evidence of Google’s takeover intentions does not emerge from the court document. It is also unclear at what point Google should have made these considerations. Epic did not know about Google’s plans at the time, CEO Tim Sweeney commented on a report by The Verge on Twitter. So there was no offer.
n fact, Epic Games has only just learned about Google’s takeover plans, Sweeney continues. It is unclear which source Epic Games is relying on. The court document in which Epic Games insinuates Google’s purchase intentions was filed by Epic’s lawyers on July 21. Large parts of the document remain redacted.
Epic v. Google
Epic and Google are fighting in court over the openness of Android’s Play Store store. Google takes the line that Android is an open platform because you can basically download apps from other stores. Epic, on the other hand, sees these so-called sideloads at a severe disadvantage: Downloading apps from other stores or directly from websites is more complicated for users, and Google also scares them with warnings about possible malware.
In the court document, Epic backs up this argument with alleged statements from Google executives. A Google executive reportedly described sideloading as a “miserable” and “terrible experience” in a phone conversation with an Epic executive. Epic should keep in mind, she said, that most users would not take the steps necessary to do so. According to the document, Google wanted to pave the way for a special solution with Epic Games with such statements – so the phone call must have taken place at a time when Epic Games had not yet offered “Fortnite” in the Google Play Store.