Video game company Epic Games is waged in a “David vs. Goliath” battle filing lawsuits against both Apple Inc AAPL and Alphabet Inc GOOGGOOGL last year. The latest unsealed documents in the Google lawsuit reveal how the tech giant considered lowering the risk of a drawn-out lawsuit.
What Happened: Epic Games is suing Google over the fees it charges in the Google Play app store for downloading games such as “Fortnite Mobile.”
Unsealed documents in the court case show for the first time that Google considered buying a stake in Epic Games or acquiring the company outright.
“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,” Epic Games CEO and founder Tim Sweeney tweeted.
The Epic Games founder said the company was not aware of negotiations and questioned if the move would have been “some sort of hostile takeover attempt.”
Why It’s Important: The news that Google considered buying Epic Games could strengthen the argument by the smaller video game company that Google has unfair practices.
The news of the buyout also comes as big tech companies such as Google are facing pressure over monopolistic practices from the government.
Epic Games pushed to distribute “Fortnite” through other channels to lower the fees paid, which received pushback from Apple and Google. “Fortnite” was kicked off of mobile stores from both companies. Users can download “Fortnite Mobile” on Android devices via sideloading.
A document released calls Epic’s plans a “contagion” to Google. Epic said Google offered a “special deal” to launch “Fortnite” on the Google Play Store.
Epic Games is partially owned by Tencent Holdings ADR TCEHY and Sony Corp SONY. The gaming company was valued at over $17 billion in late 2020 when Sony invested and is now worth over $28 billion in 2021.
Photo: Courtesy Fortnite
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