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Epic Games Files Lawsuit Against Google In Oz

App developer Epic Games, famous for suing Apple, is now bringing Google to court after filing a lawsuit against the search engine giant in the Federal Court of Australia.

In the claim, Epic alleges Google’s anti-competitive conduct breaches Australian Consumer Law as well as various sections of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Epic states Google abuses its control over the Android operating system, restricting competition in payment processing and app distribution in the Google Play Store.

“This harmful conduct stifles innovation, reduces consumer choice and inflates prices,” Epic said in a statement.

Apps obtained through the Google Play Store must use the company’s in-app payments system, which takes a 30 per cent commission. This is similar to Apple’s fees in the App Store.

In Australia, almost half of the approximately 20 million smartphones across the country run on Google’s Android OS and 90 per cent of apps on an Android device are typically obtained via the Google Play Store.

“Google gives the illusion of being open by making arguments about the presence of alternative app stores on its platform or allowing direct downloading of apps from third party providers, but in reality these situations are so rare that they barely make a dent in the monopoly of the Android OS”, said Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney.

“The barriers Google places on Android OS are real. In the case of direct downloading, it makes the process so difficult and scary that it deters users from downloading apps from third party-websites even though it is a totally normal way for users to get apps on a desktop.

“It’s actions like this that illustrate Google is more interested in feigning openness than delivering choice to consumers. We believe consumers have the right to install apps from sources of their choosing and developers have the right to compete in a fair marketplace.”

This claim complements legal proceedings already underway in the US and UK, as well as an antitrust complaint against Apple in the European Union.

Epic said it is not seeking damages from Google or Apple, it is simply seeking fair access and competition that will benefit consumers and developers.

In addition to Epic’s claims in Australia against Apple and Google, the company is also participating in the Australian competition regulator’s review of mobile app marketplaces.

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