The end of the year seems to be wild at least for Google and Epic Games; according to Reuters a lawsuit was filed by the latter against Google, claiming that in 2020 the company paid $360 million in the course of three years to Activision Blizzard in order of stop the development of their app store which was expected to compete with Google's Play Store… a complete scandal.
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Why is this terrible?
Well, as you may know, anti-competitive practices are very illegal and the fact that Google is braving its competitors just adds fuel to the fire. Actually, the lawsuit also mentions other companies like Nintendo, Riot Games, and Ubisoft who allegedly also received money from the tech giant. As expected, both Google and Activision have stated that said agreement never took place and that Epic Games is lying.
Specifically and according to an official statement, Google has called the lawsuit baseless and full of mischaracterizations, while Activision said it never entered into an agreement with Google to not open an app store "Google never asked us, pressured us, or made us agree not to compete with Google Play. Epic’s allegations are nonsense.”
On the other hand and what makes everything sounds fishy is that Riot games just said it was reviewing the filing. So, clearly, we have a long way ahead of us. Allegedly Google's agreements with developers are part of an internal effort known as "Project Hug” where they pay developers via YouTube and/or credit for Google ads and cloud services.
This type of deal started in January 2020, after Activision told Google it was considering launching its own app store, of course, the company didn’t think twice and tried to prevent its developers from fleeing to alternative systems by signing them.
“Google knew signing with Activision effectively ensured that (Activision) would abandon its plans to launch a competing app store.”
Can you believe it? What do you think about the whole ordeal? We are always happy to read your opinions in the comments below.