./uploads/advanced-cache.php Fortnite maker Epic Games alleges Google not complying with India’s antitrust verdict

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Fortnite maker Epic Games alleges Google not complying with India’s antitrust verdict

Fortnite maker Epic Games alleges Google not complying with India’s remedial antitrust verdict
Epic Games is also in a legal battle with Google in the United States about a similar matter.

 

The developer of the popular online video game Fortnite – Epic Games – has alleged that American multinational tech giant Google is violating India’s remedial antitrust order issued by the Competition Commission of India, or CCI. Epic has reportedly approached the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, or NCLAT, in the matter.

 

According to a Reuters report, the gaming company has claimed in a filing on February 9 that Google is not hosting third-party app stores on Google Play Store, including Epic Games App Store. Additionally, despite a part of the antitrust directives requiring Google to allow third-party app stores on its Play Store, the Sundar Pichai-led company is not allowing sideloading of apps.

 

Sideloading means installing apps via a third-party app store or without the use of an approved distribution channel like Google Play Store. It enables users to access more applications than are officially available on the approved channel.

 

“We are seeking to join Indian developers in Court to support the CCI’s order that requires Google to allow competing for third-party app stores on the Google Play Store,” a report by Hindu Business Line citing Epic Games Director of Global Public Policy Bakari Middleton said. “Consumers should be able to choose how they access apps on their mobile devices and developers should be able to compete fairly in the mobile app ecosystem.”

 

It is noteworthy that Epic Games is in a legal battle with Google and, in 2020, sued the company in the U.S. for its anti-competitive practices relating to Google Play Store. Epic Games has over 9.5 million users in India. Reports have highlighted that a large part of the gaming market in the country is still untapped by Epic due to Google’s anti-competitive practices and app store policies.

 

Last month, Google announced a slew of updates to Android devices in India like allowing manufacturers to license individual Google apps for pre-installation on their devices. Also, Android users in India will now have the option to choose their default search engine. The California headquartered company is also updating its in-app billing system and announced that users’ choice billing would be available to all apps and games soon.

 

This came after the company lost its fight in Supreme Court to block the competition authority’s order. Before going to the apex court, Google first approached the NCLAT, where the authority ordered the company to pay 10 percent of the Rs 1337.76 crore worth of penalty imposed by CCI as an interim measure.

 

CCI fined Google Rs 1337.76 crore in October for abusing its dominant position by forcefully entering “one-sided agreements” with Android mobile makers to ensure the dominance of its apps and search engine. This has denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on their merits, the CCI noted.

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