Epic Games accuses Google of violating CCI’s remedial directions in Android case

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Epic Games, the creator of popular online shooter game Fortnite, has filed a complaint with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) stating that Google is continuing to violate the remedial measures issued by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in the Android case.

Epic Games is one of the biggest video games and software development companies in the world and is already engaged in a legal dispute against Google in US courts, accusing them of anti-competitive practices. It has also filed lawsuits against the search giant in Australia and the UK.

In its petition to the NCLAT, Epic Games requested impleadment as a party-respondent in Google’s appeal of the CCI’s ruling in the Android dispute. According to the application, Epic Games requested NCLAT to order Google to end its contempt of the CCI’s Remedial Directions so that it can host and allow download of rival app stores through the Google Play Store.

Despite the deadline to comply having passed, Epic Games claims that users in India are still unable to remove Google Play Store apps that have been pre-installed on their Android devices and are also restricted from sideloading apps from other sources.

Epic Games also argued that Google’s monopoly over the distribution of apps for Android devices, along with the company’s 30% share of app sales and in-app purchases, results in an unfair market that discourages innovation and competition.

A startup body, Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF), had also filed a caveat in NCLAT on Google CCI orders in November last year. According to CCI rulings, Google misused its dominant position while negotiating Android agreements with smartphone manufacturers and Play Store terms with developers.

Additionally, the CCI fined Google Rs. 1,337.76 crore for allegedly abusing its authoritative position in the Android mobile ecosystem last year.

The CCI also determined that requiring the full pre-installation of Google Mobile Suite (GMS) under the mobile application and distribution agreement (MADA), with no way to remove it, amounted to imposing unfair restrictions on device manufacturers.