Last month, Apple was largely handed a major victory in its legal battles with Fortnite maker Epic Games. In a 185-page decision, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogerswhen it activated code hidden within its hit Fortnite battle game for the iPhone and iPad that violated App Store rules. In a countersuit filed Monday, Google showed it's a quick study.
In its 43-page filing, Google recounted how Epic had activated similarly hidden code within its app on the Google Play Store last year, which broke Epic's "contractually agreed" rules and led to the app's removal. Epic, Google said, then began a public relations campaign "intended to villainize and harm Google, while distracting from Epic's breach."
Google further argued that Epic "entered into a legal agreement with Google with which it never intended to comply" and that its actions "have put its own users at risk, have harmed Google, and are deserving of relief from this Court." Epic didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Google's moves mark the latest escalation in the ongoing legal battles Epic's waging against the two tech titans. Epic argues that both Apple and Google are too controlling of their respective app stores,. Both companies also collect fees from app developers through what are known as in-app payments, when people buy digital goods like a subscription or a new look for their character within their app. The companies charge up to 30% commissions for those purchases, a price , including from Epic.
Epic's legal fights with Apple and Google began last year when it changed the way it charges people to buy items within its Fortnite game, circumventing each company's in-app payment systems and the commissions they charge. In its legal filing, Google said Epic "schemed willfully to violate the terms" of its developer agreement "to avoid paying Google anything at all." In the course of its trial with Apple, Epic admitted it had planned a public relations campaign to fight app store.
Epic's legal battle with Google was effectively on hold until after its lawsuit with Apple concluded. Both Apple and Epic have since filed their plans.