Google Paid $360M to Keep Activision Blizzard Out of the Fight

Google Play Store

Epic is in another heated lawsuit with a tech giant, and the details are starting to spill. Reuters has uncovered newly unredacted court documents showing Google paid Activision Blizzard about $360 million to stop them from creating an app that would compete against Google’s Play Store. The records show Google made 24 similar agreements through its Project Hug initiative, now called the Apps and Games Velocity Program.

The antitrust case, filed in 2021, shows Google driving out competition through massive payouts. Epic claims Google has made these deals with Nintendo, Ubisoft, Riot, and many more. Google refutes the claims, explaining Project Hug is an effort to bolster the creators’ production and that the companies can publish on any platform.

Famously, Epic also went after Apple a few years ago over their apps store. In that case, it was complaining about Apple’s forced use of its checkout system. Epic wants to do away with these limitations as they make the majority of their money from Fortnite transactions and selling games through their launcher.

While there are many valid arguments against Google and its monopolist actions, intent and transparency need to be at the forefront. The companies mentioned in these filings have refuted Epic’s claims and an Activision spokesman says “Epic’s allegations are nonsense.” Epic may be in the right, but their slinging of half-truths and mischaracterizations can cause more harm than solve any problems.

What are your thoughts on Epic using the financial weight to go after these massive companies?

Source: Reuters, PCGames

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