Google has made at least 24 deals to prevent them from competing with the Play Store. These include an agreement to pay Activision Blizzard Inc approximately $360 million over three years, according to a Thursday court filing.
Google also agreed to pay Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s (0700.HK), Riot Games unit 2020, which produces “League of Legends”, about $30 million annually, according to the filing.
In a copy of the lawsuit Epic Games, maker of “Fortnite”, filed against Google in 2020, financial details were revealed. It claimed anticompetitive practices in relation to Google’s Android, Play Store, and other businesses.
Google has called the lawsuit baseless and full of mischaracterizations. Google claimed that its agreements to keep developers satisfied reflect healthy competition.
Riot stated that it was reviewing the file. Activision has not responded to our requests for comment.
Last year, Epic lost a similar case against Apple Inc (AAPL.O), the other major app store provider. Next year, an appellate ruling is expected in this case.
Google agreements with developers form part of an internal effort called “Project Hug”, and were described in an earlier version of the lawsuit, without the exact terms.
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Activision announced the deal with Activision in January 2020. This was shortly after it had told Google that it was considering opening its own app store. Court papers state that Riot’s partnership with Activision was also meant to “stop their efforts at an in-house app store,” according to court documents.
Google forecasted at the time that app store sales would drop by billions if developers switched to other systems.
Epic claims that Activision knew that signing with Google “effectively assured that (Activision’s) plans to launch an alternative app store would be abandoned.” The lawsuit also stated that the agreement raises prices and lowers the quality of service.
According to court papers, other companies that had signed with Google as of July were Ubisoft Entertainment SA (UBIP.PA) and Nintendo Co (7974.T)., meditation app Calm, and the education app company Age of Learning.