Epic Games and Google’s battle continues with more evidence popping up

More than a year later, the epic court battle between Epic Games, Google, and Apple is still going on. Recently the court documents started revealing more and more secrets on how business is being conducted. To follow the battle, Epic has submitted an unredacted document claiming that Google considers locking down Android’s ability to sideload apps in response to the ongoing Fortnite feud.

This ongoing battle centers around how developers sell apps and profit on Android. Epic Games believes that Google is limiting the contagion of competition in an effort to keep the Play Store thriving. The latest court order from this week reveals some anti-competitive actions taken by Google.

There are several important takeaways from this claim. The most important of which is the revelation of the Premier Device Program. This program was launched in 2019 and was a way that Google incentivized phone makers to ship their devices with Google services and apps.

This tactic seems to discourage OEMs from trading devices that come with other app stores that are not Google’s Play Store. This includes the Fortnite Launcher app, used to install the Fortnite app from outside the Play Store. The incentives as part of the Premier Device Program include financial incentives, monthly bonuses, and PlaySpend bonuses for specific OEMs.

Some of the companies that are known to be part of the Premier Device Program include HMD Global (Nokia), LG, and Motorola. A few others are involved to a lesser degree; these are Xiaomi, Sony, Sharp, and a few BBK Properties (including OPPO, Vivio, OnePlus, and RealMe).

 

Epic Games and Google’s battle continues with more evidence popping up

Another revelation that came to light was Project Hug, also known as the Games Velocity Program. This initiative was devised to throw love/promotion to top developers and games, probably in an effort to keep them from following in Epic Games' footsteps. According to the document, this effort involved striking multi-million dollar deals with over twenty of the top developers that were at risk of leaving the Play Store.

However, in light of the Android 12s release, we should also note that Google is opening up the Android to other third-party app stores in this version. Thus, Android 12 will allow users to choose and install other app stores on their devices, including app stores not needing constant user interaction to update apps.

Closing words

This latest information submitted by Epic Games doesn’t shine a flattering light on the tech giant Google, with a lot of little shady deals that are not made public. It would appear that Google is using money to keep developers and OEMs loyal to the Play Store. As more information comes up, I look forward to seeing how things turn out for Google, especially in the light of the new Open Apps Market Act bill submitted by the senate.

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Epic Games and Google’s battle continues with more evidence popping up
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Epic Games and Google’s battle continues with more evidence popping up
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Epic has submitted an unredacted document claiming that Google considers locking down Android’s ability to sideload apps
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Ross Presser said on August 20, 2021 at 3:30 pm
    Reply

    What on earth is the photo in the center of this article depicting?

    1. Ross Presser said on August 20, 2021 at 3:47 pm
      Reply

      Got it now. Tineye found the image here: https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-walked-right-into-epics-antitrust-trap-by-banning-fortnite-2020-8

      with the caption

      “Fortnite” parodied Apple’s famous “1984” ad. Epic Games

  2. common sense computing said on August 21, 2021 at 12:30 am
    Reply

    Let me know when I can nuke OEM bloatware from orbit on Android without needing to jump through hoops.

    1. Jqpabc123 said on August 21, 2021 at 1:59 pm
      Reply

      In some cases, the most reasonable way is to nuke the entire OS and install an open source alternative.

  3. Steve said on August 21, 2021 at 12:44 am
    Reply

    You really gotta laugh at this whole mess. The Internet presented an opportunity for everyone to be independent and sell their own stuff on their own terms, at their own price, not to mention a world where every program could run on every platform. But what did humanity do when handed this golden ticket? They created an even more closed system than we had 30 years ago with physical media and retail stores!

    And the worst part is, that both sides want the same thing. As a consumer it is like a bear and a lion fighting over who gets to have me for dinner. Epic is just as sleazy, with exclusivity deals and such. I guess the only thing to hope for at this point is that they both sue each other into oblivion, not unlike the battle between the bear and the lion ending in a simultaneous double KO, thereby providing me an opportunity to escape without being eaten by either (or both) of them.

    1. Bindere Dundat said on August 21, 2021 at 5:50 pm
      Reply

      1. The Internet was never intended to be commercial entity, so the idea of it presenting an opportunity for everyone to be independent and selling their own stuff is borderline bogus. It was the World Wide Web that provided the means to hijack and commercialize the Internet.
      2. People can try to avoid these big-money predators, but it’s the sheeple that keeps them in business. With every passing day the people become fewer and the sheeple continue to multiply in numbers.

      1. Steve said on August 21, 2021 at 11:37 pm
        Reply

        The point is that the Internet provided the biggest and easiest opportunity for producers to interact directly with their customers/fans without going through a middle man like a music publisher or a retail store.

        The Internet may not have initially been set up with this goal in mind, but that is exactly the opportunity that it opened up for everyone.

  4. Anonymous said on September 7, 2021 at 12:18 pm
    Reply

    “However, in light of the Android 12s release, we should also note that Google is opening up the Android to other third-party app stores in this version. Thus, Android 12 will allow users to choose and install other app stores on their devices, including app stores not needing constant user interaction to update apps.”

    Finally. Google store monopoly is a cancer. Not just their huge percentage theft on all sales, also the spying and the censorship, forbidding for example some ad/tracker blockers, youtube downloaders, alternative stores like F-Droid…

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