Newly unsealed court documents show that Google may have considered buying Epic Games. The potential buyout would’ve been to address what has been labeled as “contagion” from the Epic Games Store (EGS), and others, in providing the means for sales other than using the Google Play store. Similar strategies have been employed when EGS allowed in-app purchases that circumvented the Apple app store, resulting in it being banned there. These new claims indicate Google could’ve been planning something more aggressive than the current legal confrontation between the two.
This was unbeknownst to us at the time, and because of the court’s protective order we’re just finding out now about Google’s consideration of buying Epic to shut down our efforts to compete with Google Play.https://t.co/HSS1edUrQm— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 6, 2021
The internal messages discussing that possibility remain secret, and the complaint doesn’t indicate that Google ever reached out to Epic with these plans. It also doesn’t give a timeframe for the discussion — although it presumably happened after Epic started its plans to launch Fortnite on Android in 2018.