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Judge orders Epic, Google to hold settlement talks | Epic vs Google

Epic Games and Google have been ordered to hold settlement talks before the jury of the ongoing antitrust trial makes its verdict.

The Verge reported the order came from Judge James Donato on Monday, after Epic lead attorney Gary Bornstein revealed the two companies had never formally attempted to settle their dispute before it ended up in court.

Donato then asked Epic what they were planning to ask for if they win the case, to which the Fortnite firm responded with three requests:

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”

The judge instantly dismissed the latter, explaining that the court does not grant injunctions that essentially boil down to ‘don’t break the law.’

“If you have a problem, you come back,” he added.

Donato then argued the first two could well be accomplished with a settlement agreement, pointing to the fact Spotify has a similar deal with Google and is able to use its own billing system.

Before proceedings resumed on Tuesday, Donato ordered Epic to file its demands by 9am PT on Saturday, December 2, adding that these must be “all-inclusive, detailed and specific.”

Google is then expected to provide an “all-inclusive detailed response” by 9am on Monday, December 4.

A settlement conference must then be held before the jury gives its verdict. This conference will be held between four people: Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, an appropriate Google representative who could sign an enforceable deal, and the lead attorneys for both companies.

Today will be the fourteenth day of the antitrust trial between Epic and Google. The jury will hear the last of the evidence tomorrow (Friday, December 1) before both parties make their closing arguments on Monday, December 11.

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