The Google vs Epic case is coming to an end and both the parties will begin closing arguments on December 11. Before announcing the decision, the judge allowed the companies to have settlement discussions. Notably, Epic and Google have never formally attempted to settle this case before now. The judge also asked Epic what it plans to ask for if it wins the case.
“If you win, what are you planning to ask for?” the judge asked because apparently Epic has not articulated what the company’s demands are, The Verge reported.
Epic wants three things
Epic said it wants freedom for Epic and other developers to introduce their own stores without restriction. In addition, the Fortnite-maker is seeking total freedom to use its own billing system and, thirdly, an anti-circumvention provision “just to be sure Google can’t reintroduce the same problems through some alternative creative solution.”
What the judge has to say
While agreeing to the first two demands, the judge, however, said that the company’s last demand wouldn’t happen.
“We don’t do don’t-break-the-law injunctions… if you have a problem, you can come back,” the judge said, adding that the first two tasks feel like they’re doable.
“Spotify pays 4% or 0% and has its own billing… you need to be clear with your client who’s sitting behind you that [settlement negotiations are] going to happen.”
Spotify’s “bespoke” deal
Earlier during the case hearings, testimony from a Google executive revealed that Spotify struck a deal with Google that let it bypass the Play Store commission when people pay using Spotify’s payment option.
Spotify paid no commission to Google when users signed up for subscriptions using the music streaming service’s payment system on Android, The Verge reported.
However, Spotify paid Google a commission of 4% if users signed up for the service through Google – which is significantly less than the 15% commission of most other apps for subscriptions through the Google Play Store.
Don Harrison, Google’s head of global partnerships, said in his testimony that Spotify does not pay any fees when it handles its payments but pays a small 4% fee to Google for processing them. “Listening to music is one of [the phone’s] core purposes… if we don’t have Spotify working properly across Play services and core services, people will not buy Android phones”, Harrison reportedly said in court.
This revelation could affect Google’s negotiations with other app developers who may ask for better rates.

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