In the case Epic Games, Inc. V. Google LLC et al, Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Google stating that Google violated antitrust laws. Epic Games claims that these violations were compelling their developers to pay large fees so they could reach customers through Google Play, in addition to inhibiting competition on Android devices for applications. Epic Games also states that Google employees have been deleting documents that would further prove their case. It was then uncovered by an Epic Games attorney that Google employees had been joking about “fake privilege” over a G-Chat in 2021.
The Clayton Act is one of three main antitrust laws, and is most relevant in this case. The Clayton Act prohibits acquisitions that may be used to lessen competition, and also prohibits business practices that may cause injury to competition including requirement ties, serving as a director for a competitor, or using exclusive contracts.
The Clayton Act is relevant within this case, as it was uncovered that an internal legal team within Google had been taking work from the plate of the senior product counsel employee. Epic Games used this information to claim that google earned billions by harming developers and consumers alike. An attorney for Epic Games states that google is “systematically, deliberately, and unlawfully” violating antitrust laws by inhibiting competition with its Play Store. Google later offered Epic Games nearly $150 million to put Fortnite on the Google Play Store, seemingly to prevent further loss of income.
All in all, Epic Games has every reason to believe that Google is violating antitrust laws. Failure to pull up old conversations, legal teams taking work that isn’t theirs, and talking about fake privilege are all concerns that are reasonable to be brought into court. While we won’t know until mid-December what the verdict is, Epic Games is proving to be damaged by the conduct of Google.