Google and Activision agrees to a $360 million deal to block rival app stores
Google has reached at least 24 agreements with major app developers to prevent them from competing with its Play Store. Google has also agreed to pay Tencent Holdings Ltd’s Riot Games unit $30 million over a one-year period in 2020. Details emerged in a lawsuit filed in 2020 by “Fortnite” video game maker Epic Games against Google. Google has called the lawsuit unfounded and full of inaccuracies.
Epic lost a similar case against Apple Inc. last year. In that case, an appellate decision is expected next year. Google’s agreements with developers are part of an internal project called “Project Hug.” Payments for YouTube uploads are included, as are credits for Google ads and cloud services.
According to Epic’s lawsuit, Google knew that signing with Activision “effectively guaranteed” that the company would abandon its plans to launch a competing app store. According to the lawsuit, the agreement raises prices and reduces service quality. According to court documents, partnering with Riot was also intended to “stop their in-house ‘app store’ efforts.”