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Epic Games announced on Monday it has filed a lawsuit against Google in Australia’s federal court, accusing the tech giant of “anti-competitive conduct,” which it claims breaches Australia’s competition laws.
Epic Games filed a similar lawsuit against Apple in November — and the lawsuits form a broader strategy of filing antitrust lawsuits in various countries.
Epic’s legal battle with Apple and Google began in August last year, when it filed lawsuits against both tech giants in the US. The legal fight with Apple is due to go to court in May, with Apple CEO Tim Cook due to give a 7-hour deposition.
Last month, Epic Games also filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the EU. Epic Games tried to mount suits against Apple and Google in the UK as well — although it was told by a tribunal that it will not be allowed to pursue Apple in court.
The fight began after Epic Games circumvented rules Apple and Google have in place over in-app payments made through their App Stores. Developers are obliged to pay Apple and Google a 30% commission on any payments that are made inside their apps. Epic Games claims this is anti-competitive because it drives up prices for consumers who have little option for downloading apps outside of official app stores.
Epic Games implemented its own payment system inside “Fortnite,” which led to it being kicked off Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store.
Apple and Google are facing high levels of antitrust scrutiny at the moment. The EU announced two antitrust investigations into Apple in June, one of which is focused on its App Store policies.
The Department of Justice announced a sweeping antitrust investigation into Google in October last year, and the Biden administration has signalled that it will keep Big Tech companies under the antitrust microscope.
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