Epic accuses Google and Apple of collusion around the smartphone market, says competition is fake

by Surur
July 25, 2021

Epic Games is accusing Google of anti-competitive practices and is currently involved in a lawsuit against the company over the removal of its Fortnite game from the Google Play Store.

The company has now amended its complaint with new evidence which it says bolsters its case.

In particular, they accuse Google of working closely with Apple and claimed there is no real competition between the two platforms.

They point to the massive $8 to $12 billion Google pays to Apple each year to be its default search engine, and the massive profits Google reaps as a result.

They note: “Moreover, the close relationship that Google maintains with Apple further reduces Google’s incentive to compete, innovate, and invest in app distribution because Google benefits by cooperating with its competitor Apple.”

They note that Google has little incentive “to compete more with Apple at the smartphone OS level and expend more resources attracting users from iOS to Android than it currently does.”

This means Google places no pressure on Apple to have more developer-friendly policies and leaves developers stuck having to submit to Apple’s rules. In the filling Epic notes:

If it did not profit significantly from searches on iOS devices, Google might be more incentivized to, among other things, differentiate its Android platform from Apple with respect to the commissions it charges on app transactions. If Android competed with iOS on app transactions, the market competition would make Android apps cheaper for users and attract developers to launch their apps first (or even only) on Android. Instead, Google and Apple are cozy duopolists, offering virtually the same terms to developers and changing those terms in tandem (if at all).

Epic claims that “Google’s persistent monopoly is the result of deliberate efforts by Google to achieve and maintain it,” and said Google’s “very carefully phrased arguments in Google’s pending motion to dismiss give a misleading picture of the full scope of Google’s anti-competitive conduct.”

It may be difficult to prove that either Apple or Google is a monopoly as they pose an alternative to each other, but Epic appears to be trying to prove that there is in fact a collusive duopoly between the companies which own 99% of the smartphone market together, to the detriment of developers and users.

In a statement to iMore Google said;

“The open Android ecosystem lets developers distribute apps through multiple app stores. For game developers who choose to use the Play Store, we have consistent policies that are fair to developers and keep the store safe for users. While Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies. We will continue to defend ourselves against these meritless claims.”

Do our readers think Epic has a case? Let us know below.

via PhoneArena

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