Google is finally in court with Epic this week and things are off to an interesting start with Epic’s attorney Gary Bornstein claiming that Google destroyed evidence. “All we know is whatever is in the destroyed chats, as bad as the documents are, is worse. Or at least it was worse, before they were destroyed” Bornstein said.
The statement refers to a tactic Google has been discovered to use within the confines of internal company chat communications. A revelation that came to light during Google’s currently ongoing case with the US Justice Department. Bornstein continues by claiming that Google sets some of its internal chats to automatically delete after a certain period of time.
Bornstein also claims that a big part of Google’s monopoly with the Play Store revolves around, you guessed it, more exclusive deals. Allegedly, Google convinced 22 different developers to not compete with the Play Store. And when some told Google their plans to compete, Google’s response was to pay them and get them to agree not to. One of those developers was reportedly Riot Games. The studio behind the massively popular MOBA League of Legends.
If the exclusive deals sounds familiar, it should. Google is currently on trial with the DOJ about its monopoly in online search. Where it also allegedly locked in exclusive deals to be the default search option on Apple and other devices.
Google vs Epic court case: Google implies it deserves a higher revshare
Epic has made it very clear that it thinks Google’s 30% Play Store fee is unfair. After Epic boss Steve Allison took the stand to testify, The Verge reports that he refers to Epic’s 88/12 fee split with developers when the store first launched. Meaning developers keep 88% of revenue and the other 12% goes to Epic. He then notes that shortly after this other companies including Discord and Microsoft began paying their developers more. “Is a 70/30 split still the standard?” Allison asks. To which he replies “no” to his own question.
It’s a fair question. And Allison’s answer of no is one that many people no doubt agree with. However, this series focal point on the revshare fee leads Google to point out a statement from Allison in an email from a few years. In the email Allison says Epic’s store fee is for both payment processing and for access to Epic’s audience. Google then implies that it should have a higher revshare because it has more games and a larger audience than Steam-owner Valve which charges a higher fee for access to its larger audience and game library than Epic.