After a US judge ruled last month that Epic Games was in breach of its contract with Apple when it implemented an alternative payment system in the Fortnite iOS app, Google is countersuing Epic in the hopes of a similar ruling. Epic had first sued both Apple and Google in August 2020 after both companies removed Fortnite from their respective app stores and suspended the company's developer accounts after the app implemented an alternative payment mechanism that avoids commissions charged by Apple and Google. Google Play's payment policies state that in-app purchases made on apps distributed through the Play Store must use Google's billing system and pay the relevant commission, which is 30 percent in Fortnite's case. What does Google's lawsuit say? Deception designed to provoke litigation: Google argued that Epic intentionally breached the terms of the contract and acted in bad faith. Epic’s purported launch on Google Play was an act of deception designed to provoke litigation—Epic had been working for months on a way to conceal Epic’s payment system in an update on both Google Play and the Apple App Store. This undetected update would be accomplished through a “hotfix,” a method of app updating without Google’s knowledge that would allow the Fortnite app to import data directly from the Epic server. [...] This hotfix was designed for the sole purpose of allowing users to bypass Google Play Billing in violation of the DDA. — Google "Epic had no intention of actually complying with its agreement with Google and paying Google…
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