Court mandates Epic and Google to settlement talks before concluding antitrust lawsuit

Cal Jeffrey

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Staff member
What just happened? Typically, when two parties get into legal disputes, the first is to hash out a settlement deal to resolve the lawsuit before bringing it to court. It saves both parties on legal fees and swiftly closes the grievance. It is relatively rare that judges have to order settlement talks, but that is what just happened in the Epic Games v. Google antitrust lawsuit.

On Tuesday, US District Judge James Donato ordered Epic Games and Google to settlement talks outside the jury's presence. The Verge notes that the mandate came after he asked Epic's legal team if it had tried to settle the dispute outside of court. Donato feels that the case is "solvable" and was surprised when lawyers on both sides indicated they had not even attempted to settle out of court.

While it might be puzzling to the judge, it seems evident that Epic was never chasing a settlement. In a nutshell, Tim Sweeney wants Epic and other developers to be free to distribute software on Android platforms without going through the Google Play Store. He wants to set precedence so that other companies can benefit from his lawsuit.

Donato asked Epic's lead attorney, Gary Bornstein, precisely what they would ask for were they to win. Bornstein said they are seeking three things. The freedom for Epic and other developers to introduce unrestricted store apps on the Android platform, the ability to use external payment systems, and "to be sure Google can't reintroduce the same problems through some alternative creative solution."

To that last point, Donato said, "We don't do don't break the law injunctions... if you have a problem, you can come back." In other words, Epic will never win its last request because courts are not for preventing future actions.

As for the other two demands, Donato said they are solvable with a settlement. He ordered Epic lawyers to file its settlement demands by 9 am on Saturday, emphasizing that the filing should be explicit.

"The demand is going to be all-inclusive, detailed, and specific," he said, following with an example. "Spotify pays 4 percent or 0 percent and has its own billing..." Donato also told the legal team, "You need to be clear with your client who's sitting behind you that [settlement negotiations are] going to happen," seemingly squashing Sweeney's crusade even though he appeared stoic.

He also informed Google's team that it needs to file a response to Epic's demands by 9 am Monday. Sweeney, a Google representative capable of signing deals, and the lead attorneys on both sides will then have a settlement conference Monday morning before final arguments.

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Steam: “lets take Linux, make a distro and then we can be independent”

Apple and Google:” lets create a platform to be able to make money from it “

Epic: “we’re tired of paying to use anybody else’s OSes and hard work to build that platform. How dare those (Apple and Google) to ask for money to use their platform? Lets go to court to be able to go parasite-style, use the platform, without contributing “

So, if I want to sell on a mall, store in a building, etc I have to pay a rent to the owner; if I want to use a market (Amazon etc) I have to pay a fee; why would Epic be different? In the USA everything’s possible…
 
Steam: “lets take Linux, make a distro and then we can be independent”

Apple and Google:” lets create a platform to be able to make money from it “

Epic: “we’re tired of paying to use anybody else’s OSes and hard work to build that platform. How dare those (Apple and Google) to ask for money to use their platform? Lets go to court to be able to go parasite-style, use the platform, without contributing “

So, if I want to sell on a mall, store in a building, etc I have to pay a rent to the owner; if I want to use a market (Amazon etc) I have to pay a fee; why would Epic be different? In the USA everything’s possible…

Your analogy doesn't make sense. If Android were a shopping mall, then Epic being allowed to have a store in it is exactly what Epic is asking for and Google is blocking.

Every company that sells apps cannot have it's own device or operating system. It logistically doesn't make sense. These mega rich and powerful companies just want to control everything and double-dip by selling the device and then taking app developer's profits too.
 
Your analogy doesn't make sense. If Android were a shopping mall, then Epic being allowed to have a store in it is exactly what Epic is asking for and Google is blocking.

Every company that sells apps cannot have its own device or operating system. It logistically doesn't make sense. These mega rich and powerful companies just want to control everything and double-dip by selling the device and then taking app developer's profits too.
You are changing my analogy: Google and C Apple gives you a platform were you can have your product (the stores) and charge you to be there if you sell (they don’t charge you for the OS) as you would pay to use a store of the mall.

To comply to your “change”: Google could let other stores to be installed but then, CHARGE epic for a part of the sales as a Tax do use their platform. But no, what epic want is to use somebody else’s platform and work, not paying a thing. That is not correct
 
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