Google is hoping to fast-track the resolution of its antitrust legal battle with Epic Games, Match Group, and state Attorneys General by filing a partial motion for summary judgment. In the motion, Google’s legal team is asking the court to dismiss several of the plaintiffs’ arguments regarding the nature of its app store business, revenue-sharing agreements, and other app store-related projects.
The tech giant is seeking a judgment on five key claims that would be pivotal to the plaintiffs’ ability to prove anticompetitive behavior. Among the claims is the argument that Google’s Developer Distribution Agreement is illegal because it prohibits the distribution of other app stores. Google counters this by saying that it doesn’t have a legal obligation to distribute to other app stores and highlights that most Android devices come preloaded with more than one app store. Furthermore, consumers can install additional app stores from the web browser.
Another argument that Google wants dismissed is focused on “Project Hug,” a program that was designed to incentivize Android game developers to keep their games on the Google Play Store. The plaintiffs argued that Google paid game developers millions of dollars in incentives as part of this initiative, which was later known as the “Apps and Games Velocity Program.” Epic Games alleged that the program came about because Google was scared that other developers would follow its lead after it exclusively released Fortnite for Android outside the Play Store through its own installer.
Google’s legal team argues that the plaintiffs’ claims are not in violation of antitrust law and that the court should have enough information on hand to make determinations on these claims before the case goes to trial. If the court agrees with Google’s position, the trial would still move forward as other claims would still need to be argued in court.
In response, a Google spokesperson said in a statement, “Epic, Match Group and the state Attorneys General ignore the openness and choice Android and Google Play offer, and we look forward to making our case in court.”
This is not the first antitrust case that Google has faced. In October 2020, the US Department of Justice sued Google for allegedly monopolizing search and search advertising markets. The tech giant is also facing antitrust charges in Europe.