CARY – Count Tim Sweeney, CEO and majority owner of Epic Games, as among those surprised to learn tech giant Google mulled acquiring the privately held Cary firm that’s suing both Google and Apple over antitrust issues.

According to recently unsealed court documents – and as first reported by The Verge –  Google lifted some of the redactions in the case filings for the Epic Games v. Google antitrust case that arose last year. Google had removed Epic Games’ popular game Fortnite from the Play Store when the Cary-based games developer released a new payment system that Google said violated the terms of the Play Store.

The court document reads:

“Not content with the contractual and technical barriers it has carefully constructed to eliminate competition, Google uses its size, influence, power, and money to induce third parties into anticompetitive agreements that further entrench its monopolies. For example, Google has gone so far as to share its monopoly profits with business partners to secure their agreement to fence out competition, has developed a series of internal projects to address the “contagion” it perceived from efforts by Epic and others to offer consumers and developers competitive alternatives, and has even contemplated buying some or all of Epic to squelch this threat.”

Epic’scase against Google involves a 30% fee on purchases made through the Play Store.  Epic Games filed suit against Apple in a separate legal case for a similar reason.

Epic filed an update to the Google case last month. It added details that at the time were mostly redacted about the alleged monopolistic actions by Google on Android and the Play Store, after amending the lawsuit.

Sweeney noted in a Tweet on August 6 that Google’s possible interest in acquiring some or all of the company was not known to Sweeney or Epic Games, after The Verge reported on the case filings.



According to The Verge, the timing of Google’s potential interest in Epic Games is unknown, and the internal messages and documents that would show discussion on the matter remain secret.

Sweeney replied to his own tweet, noting that the details of such a move still remain unclear.



As reported by VG247, the court documents also show that Google pursued some form of a deal with Epic Games, which Epic declined.

“One manager contacted Epic’s Vice President and Co-Founder to gauge Epic’s interest in a special deal and, among other things, discussed “the experience of getting Fortnite on Android” via direct downloading,” the court documents read.  “Epic rejected Google’s special deal, opting instead to distribute Fortnite for Android via Epic’s website and through a partnership with the large Android OEM, Samsung.”

Before the redactions in the court documents were removed, Sweeney suggested that the existence of a 30% fee by an app store benefitted the company operating the store more than the creator of the application.


In the court documents regarding the Epic Games v. Google case, Epic Games describes that the purpose of the lawsuit is not that Epic seeks monetary compensation or favorable treatment from the Play Store.

Instead, it seeks “injunctive relief that would deliver Google’s broken promise: an open, competitive Android ecosystem for all users and industry participants.”


Epic Games sues Apple, Google after Fortnite is banned from app stores