October 2, 2023

Epic Games Accuses Google of Non-Compliance with Indian Antitrust Order

Epic Games Accuses Google

Epic Games accuses Google and has filed a case against it in an Indian tribunal, stating that the company has not adhered to certain aspects of an antitrust mandate. 

According to the game developer, Google has not permitted the hosting of their app store on the Google Play Store app.

Google is currently facing legal challenges in India, with Epic Games being the latest to join the fray. In a recent decision, Google was ordered by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to modify its Android business model, which involved coercing device manufacturers to pre-install a suite of Google apps like Chrome and YouTube.

Epic Games filed a claim with a New Delhi appeals tribunal on February 9, alleging that Google has not obeyed a section of the CCI mandate requiring Google to include third-party app stores on Play Store, and to permit apps to be downloaded freely without using Play Store. This method, known as “sideloading,” is being prevented by Google, as per the company’s submission to the tribunal.

Why Epic Games Accuses Google?

Epic Games, known for its highly popular video game “Fortnite,” manages its own app store, the Epic Games Store, which provides games and other applications for download. The company stated in the claim that it is thinking of releasing the Games Store app on Google Play Store, but has been harmed by Google’s non-compliance with the CCI mandate.

Epic Games’ Director of Global Public Policy, Bakari Middleton, announced that the company intends to collaborate with Indian developers to support the CCI’s directive that demands Google to allow rival third-party app stores. This statement was made to Reuters.

Epic Games is recognized for its efforts against Apple and Google, particularly for their high app store commissions. With 9.5 million users in India, the company’s reputation precedes them.

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Google response to Epic Games

Google issued a statement, claiming that it has submitted its “compliance plan to the CCI and continue to respectfully follow the legal process in India.”

Google refuted the accusations and tried to delay the directive, stating that the ruling would restrict the Android ecosystem’s expansion. The Supreme Court in India instructed Google to follow the CCI’s orders, but permitted it to keep presenting its case before the New Delhi appeals tribunal. Epic Games filed its case with the tribunal in question.

Epic Games is attempting to obtain a mandate that will compel Google to adhere to the CCI’s judgment, and the hearing is scheduled to take place in the near future.


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