Google paid Activision Blizzard $360M for three years.
Epic Games Lawsuits Against Google
The Fortnite maker Epic Games claimed that Google paid Activision Blizard a whopping $360 million as part of their agreement that the game maker wouldn’t build a competing app store. According to Epic, the deal solidifies Google’s power on Android devices.
But it’s not just Activision. Epic said that the search engine giant paid other developers to stop them from creating a rival app store. The Fornite developer claimed that Google also struck a deal with Tencent, the company that owns Riot Games. It received $30 million for one year.
However, Google and Activision Blizzard denied the allegations. The agreements are said to provide incentives for developers every time they create apps for Play Store. In other words, the deal doesn’t prevent developers from creating rival app stores as Epic claims.
Activision also denied the allegation and said that Google didn’t ask or pay the company to prevent them from creating a rival app store.
Microsoft is Buying Activision
Currently, Activision is in the middle of being bought by Microsoft for $68.7 billion. The EU just opened an investigation to look into the deal between the game maker and Microsoft.
The Commission expressed concern regarding the deal. It believes that it could reduce competition in the markets. It noted that the Windows maker could limit players’ access to the Activision Blizzard franchise, including Call of Duty.
The goal of the probe is to ensure that the gaming ecosystem benefits users. The investigation will look into how the deal will affect the supply chain.
Monopoly with Google Play
The latest allegations of Epic are part of its ongoing lawsuit against Google. It accuses the company of operating a monopoly within its Google Play Store.
The lawsuit is similar to its war against Apple and App Store.
Epic wants the companies to lower their control over their platforms. Unfortunately, the results of the lawsuits are mixed.
The first court case was favorable to Apple. But the game maker appealed the decision.
Recently, Google has started to loosen its control over the Play Store. As we reported here at Social Barrel, Google allowed apps, like Spotify to use their payment platforms.
Google and Apple required app makers to sell their digital items through their payment processors. They also charged them a 30% commission.
Epic wants developers to use payment platforms they want to avoid the royalty fee.
The argument that Google paid its developers to discourage them to create a rival app store may or may not win in a court case. But Epic said that Google understood the deal would mean that Activision could not launch a competing app store.
Activision Blizzard said that it chose not to create a competing app store because of several factors including costs for marketing and development. It also doesn’t want to fail. The deal with the Android maker allowed Activision Blizzard to earn multi-million dollars across multiple ecosystems.
However, if Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard would be finalized, it would allow the company to create an app store. The Windows maker told regulators that it wants to build its own app store.