Everyone knows that Epic thought the App Store was too monopolistic last year, so it sued Apple. What fewer people know is that Epic actually sued Google for in-app purchases at the same time. According to the latest court documents, Google even considered acquiring Epic at one point in order to eliminate any dispute between the two over “Fortress Night”.
According to The Verge, in this court document, Epic pointed out that Google is not only satisfied with contractual and technical means to eliminate competition but also uses its own scale, influence, and money to induce third parties to sign anti-competitive agreements, thereby further consolidating the monopoly position.
For example, in order to ensure that its business partners agree to exclusive competition, Google will even share the profits derived from the monopoly with them. And for Epic and other companies’ measures to increase competition, Google has set up multiple project teams internally to deal with it and even considered acquiring some or all of Epic’s shares to eliminate this threat.
Only Google’s internal executives knew about this. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said on Twitter:
This was unbeknownst to us at the time, and because of the court’s protective order we’re just finding out now about Google’s consideration of buying Epic to shut down our efforts to compete with Google Play.