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Judge Asks Epic & Google To Pause Settlement Talks 

Judge James Donato has asked Fortnite-maker Epic to file demands by the end of the week, to which Google must reply within 48 hours and hold settlement talks before the jury of the current antitrust trial decides its verdict.

The decision was made after Epic lead attorney Gary Bornstein shared the two corporations had never officially endeavored to settle their dispute before it ended up in court.

The judge then responded to Epic asking what they were planning to ask for if they win the case; there were three requests:

  • “Freedom for Epic and other developers to open their own app stores on Android without restrictions”
  • “Freedom to use their own billing systems to handle in-game transcations from players”
  • “An anti-circumvention provision ‘just to be sure Google can’t reintroduce the same problems through some alternative creative solution’”

The judge threw out the last request with reasoning that the court does not allow injunctions that fundamentally “don’t break the law.”

“If you have a problem, you come back,” Donato said.

The logo for Google LLC is seen at the Google Store Chelsea in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 17, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

As for the first two, the judge said that they could be handled with a settlement agreement, which experts infer means he was inadvertently referring to the deal Spotify has with Google to use its own billing system.

All Epic demands are to be filed by 9am PT on Saturday, December 2, said the judge. 

He also said they must be “all-inclusive, detailed and specific.”

Before the judge can give his verdict, a settlement conference must then be carried out with Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, an appropriate Google representative who could sign an enforceable deal, and the lead attorneys for both camps of the businesses.

Closing arguments are set to take place this month.

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