Google struck $360-mln Activision deal to block rival app store, lawsuit says
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Google struck $360-mln Activision deal to block rival app store, lawsuit says

Google struck $360-mln Activision deal to block rival app store, lawsuit says

— The Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL.O) According to a court document made on Thursday, Google has made at least 24 arrangements with major app developers to prevent them from competing with its Play Store. One of these deals involves Google agreeing to pay Activision Blizzard Inc (ATVI.O) around $360 million over three years.

Google struck $360-mln Activision deal to block rival app store, lawsuit says

Google struck $360-mln Activision deal to block rival app store, lawsuit says

According to the document, Google also committed to pay Riot Games, a subsidiary of Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) that develops “League of Legends,” almost $30 million over the course of one year beginning in 2020.

An unredacted version of the case, which Epic Games, developer of the popular video game “Fortnite,” first filed against Google in 2020, has now revealed the relevant financial facts. Allegedly, Google engaged in anticompetitive behaviour with its Android and Play Store operations.

According to Google, the complaint is completely without merit and full of misrepresentations. It claims that the arrangements it makes to keep developers happy are indicative of robust market competition.
Riot has said that it is evaluating the submission. Activision did not provide any statement in response to our inquiries.

In a similar action against Apple Inc (AAPL.O), the other major app store provider, Epic mostly lost last year. An opinion from the court of appeals on this matter is anticipated in 2019.

Project Hug, Google’s internal initiative, includes the developer agreements that were referenced in prior versions of the complaint but without explicit wording.

YouTube monetization fees and advertising and cloud service credit from Google are included in the compensation.

Activision’s partnership was revealed in January 2020, not long after the company informed Google of its plans to open its own app store. According to court documents, Riot’s partnership was motivated by a desire to “halt their in-house ‘app store’ initiatives.”

If developers abandoned the Google Play store, Google predicted at the time, they would lose billions of dollars.

A claim in Epic’s complaint is that Google’s deal with Activision “essentially insured that (Activision) would abandon its ambitions to build a competitive app store.” According to the complaint, the agreement leads to higher rates and worse quality of service.

According to the court documents, as of July, Google has negotiated agreements with a number of companies, including video game developers Nintendo Co (7974.T) and Ubisoft Entertainment SA (UBIP.PA), as well as manufacturers of the meditation software Calm and the education app Age of Learning.

 

 

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Google struck $360-mln Activision deal to block rival app store, lawsuit says
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