Google reportedly paid game developers to block Play Store competition
Google reportedly agreed to pay Activision $360 million over three years not to compete with the Play Store
The deal between Google and Activision came about after the latter allegedly told Google it was launching its own app store. The information was uncovered in an unredacted version of the lawsuit filed by Fortnite developer Epic Games in 2020. Epic said Google knew the payment from Activision “effectively ensured that Activision would abandon its plan to launch an Fortnite store. competing applications”. Epic goes on to say that Activision’s deal with Google reduces the quality of service in the Play Store while increasing prices.
Fortnite developer Epic Games accuses Google of being anti-competitive
The court filing also says Google paid Riot Games, a unit of Tencent Holdings Ltd. in China, $30 million over a one-year period to prevent the gaming company from competing with the Play Store. Epic’s two-year-old lawsuit accuses Google of using anti-competitive behavior to run the Play Store.
Here is the main difference between App Store and Play Store
Google was supposedly worried because its own forecast showed it would lose billions in app sales if game developers ended up fleeing the Play Store for competing storefronts. Other big-name developers have reportedly signed such deals with Google to receive payments while deciding not to compete with the Play Store; this list includes Nintendo, Ubisoft, meditation app Calm, and educational app company Age of Learning.
If there is one major difference between Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store in terms of anti-competitive behavior, it’s that Google allows users to download apps. In this case, Google allows Android users to download apps from third-party app stores. Apple does not allow those who use an iPhone or iPad to download applications. While this is good for security, it gives Apple full control over the apps installed on its devices, unlike Google.