Judge Orders Google to Assess Costs of Epic Games' Play Store Demands

Judge Orders Google to Assess Costs of Epic Games Play Store Demands

Judge Donato is evaluating whether Google must grant Epic Games' requests for app store access and integration within Google Play.

Despite initial skepticism, Judge James Donato is considering Epic Games' significant demands in their ongoing legal battle with Google. These demands include allowing the Epic Games Store to operate within the Google Play Store and granting access to all apps within Google Play. Epic revealed these substantial requests in April, and now the court is taking them seriously.

Judge Donato has ordered Google to detail the technical and economic implications of these demands by June 24, 2024. The specifics requested include calculating the costs and technical work required to provide "Catalog Access" and "Library Porting" to competing app stores for up to six years. This involves not only allowing other app stores to access Google's app catalogue but also potentially distributing third-party app stores through Google Play.

Epic's 16-page list of demands, particularly on page seven, outlines the requirement for Google to offer "Catalog Access and Library Porting" to rival app stores. Additionally, Judge Donato is considering Epic's request that Google host other third-party app stores within the Google Play Store for six years.


As part of the process, Epic will have the opportunity to challenge Google's cost estimates and technical assessments before a final hearing on August 14. During a recent evidentiary hearing, Judge Donato expressed skepticism about Google's counterarguments but also noted that some of Epic's requests seemed "open-ended and too vague."

This court order marks a significant development in the case, highlighting the potential for substantial changes in how app stores operate on Android devices. Epic Games has been advocating for more open access and reduced control by major tech companies like Google. The final decision could have wide-reaching implications for the app store ecosystem and developer access to platforms.

For those interested in the broader context, Epic has been working on an Android version of its game store, anticipating potential changes from the lawsuit's outcome. This ongoing legal battle underscores the tension between significant tech platforms and developers seeking more equitable access and distribution opportunities.

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