Judge in Epic Games v. Google case orders both companies to hold settlement talks

Judge James Donato issued the order when it came to light that Epic and Google had not discussed settlement before bringing the case to trial.


With Epic Games and Google now in court for many of the same reasons Epic legally tackled Apple, the case has taken an odd turn with the judge ordering both to hold settlement talks before the jury returns a verdict. Judge James Donato issued this order after it was revealed that Epic Games and Google had not discussed a settlement before the case came to trial. Once Epic Games has filed its demands, Google will have 48 hours to reply.

This turn in the Epic Games v. Google case occurred earlier this week, as reported by The Verge. Reportedly, the judge requested a ballpark of what Epic hoped to achieve if it won the trial against Google. Representatives of the Fortnite developer shared the following three demands:

  • Freedom for Epic and other developers to open their own app stores on Android without restrictions
  • Freedom to use their own billing systems to handle in-game transcations from players
  • An anti-circumvention provision "just to be sure Google can't reintroduce the same problems through some alternative creative solution"
Fortnite characters running towards the viewer with various weapons.
Epic Games pushed for lawsuits against Apple and Google when it added a payment system to Fortnite that circumvented the companies' respective app stores and was removed from both.
Source: Epic Games

The third demand was outright dismissed with Judge Donato claiming such an injunction can’t be issued. However, the judge added that the first two demands could have possibly been achieved in settlement discussions. Donato referenced previous dealings between Google and Spotify that allowed the latter to utilize its own billing system. As such, Donato ordered that Epic should file an “all-inclusive, detailed, and specific” copy of its demands with the court by Tuesday. Google will then have until December 4 to provide an “all-inclusive detailed response”.

Epic Games has been insistently stalwart in taking its cases against Apple and Google to trial. However, Epic has also been in a turbulent position as of late, having gone through a recent mass layoff. It will be interesting to see if Epic and Google come to the table and achieve an agreement, but it remains to be seen if Google would play ball as well. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for further updates.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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