Google paid Activision Blizzard $360m to stop them from building a rival app store, claims Epic Games in a lawsuit
Activision Blizzard’s EVP of corporate affairs, Lulu Cheng Meservey, has termed the whole situation as ‘nonsense’.
Some new unredacted copy of a lawsuit by Epic Games has surfaced. The lawsuit from the Fortnite maker was filed against Google in 2020. Google had allegedly paid Activision Blizzard around $360 million over three years to stop them from creating a rival app store, as per the lawsuit.
Epic Games' lawsuit against Google
After reports of this new information from lawsuit has surfaced, Activision Blizzard’s EVP of corporate affairs, Lulu Cheng Meservey, has come out in public to term the whole situation as ‘nonsense’. She tweeted, “Epic is accusing Activision Blizzard’s partner Google of paying us not to compete with them. To be clear: that's false. Google never asked us, pressured us, or made us agree not to compete with them - and we’ve already submitted documents and testimony disproving this nonsense.”
Epic is accusing Activision Blizzard’s partner Google of paying us not to compete with them.— Lulu Cheng Meservey (@lulumeservey) November 17, 2022
To be clear: that's false.
Google never asked us, pressured us, or made us agree not to compete with them - and we’ve already submitted documents and testimony disproving this nonsense.
Epic Games’ has claimed that Google was also paying Valorant and League of Legends studio, Riot Games, around $30 million over one year. The lawsuit has a list of 24 companies compensated by Google to reduce competition for the Google Play Store, as reported by Reuters. This list of companies includes Nintendo and Ubisoft.
Google's response to the lawsuit
As part of this deal, developers were also paid to post on YouTube and were given credits to use Google ads and cloud services. Google believes that these deals to keep developers satisfied reflects “healthy compeition”, as reported by Reuters. Google has also called this lawsuit "baseless and full of mischaracterizations".
Epic Games also claimed in their lawsuit that Google was planning a hostile takeover of the company, as part of a team up with Tencent. The chinese company already has a 40% stake in Epic Games and a further partnership with Google was planned so as to acquire enough equity to take control of Epic Games.