Court documents provided by Epic Games, the developer behind Fortnite, in its ongoing antitrust complaint against Google have been recently unredacted. The now-revealed sensitive information shows that Google has allegedly been doing anti-competitive practices so its Play app store remains dominant on Android.
Per the documents, Google quietly initiated Project Hug, which later became known as the Apps and Games Velocity Program, to incentivize game developers into keeping their games exclusively available on the Play Store and away from third-party stores.
- Google Play Store alternatives: best sources for APK downloads
The documents also alleged that Google wanted to join forces with Tencent to gain control of Epic. Also mentioned was a Premier Device Program that would reward Android OEMs with a higher cut on Google search revenue if they skip on third-party app stores.
So why would Google go to great lengths to stop third-party stores from gaining a strong foothold in Android? Because Google allegedly feared losing as much as $6 billion in revenue.