In one of the latest developments in Australia regarding the tussle between the Australian government and tech giant Google, a major game company has gone public with a lawsuit against Google alleging anticompetitive behaviour from Google which has affected the way the company sells apps.
The lawsuit made use of Australia's consumer and competitiveness laws to accuse Google of "imposing various contractual and technical restrictions. These restrictions stifle or block consumers' ability to download app stores and apps directly from developers' websites and prevent any meaningful competition in the distribution of apps to Android devices.
Epic Games, which is best known for the worldwide gaming phenomenon is known as 'Fortnite' was released in 2017. A statement from the company claims that Google is also using "scary" warning screens to intimidate potential app customers.
A lawsuit has already been filed by the company in other countries, including the US and France after Google and Apple banned the Fortnite game app from their App Store after Epic Games is allowing customers to purchase game-related content at a discount directly from the makers rather than through the App Store. Google and Apple take a 30% cut of all transactions made through the stores.
Google was deliberately making payment systems "egregiously difficult", the company claims. A statement from CEO Tim Sweeney states that: "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 normal way for users to get apps on a desktop."
The company asserts that customers have a right to download apps from sources of their choosing and that they have the right to compete in a free market environment instead of a monopoly.