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OnePlus, Samsung say they were restricted from including Fortnite in app stores | Epic vs Google

The antitrust jury trial between Epic Games and Google rumbles on, with much of Monday’s proceedings focused on the agreements between Google and other phone manufacturers as to which apps they can include on their smart devices.

According to The Verge, the court was told that Chinese tech firm OnePlus required permission from Google to pre-install Fortnite on its phones – which Google is said to have denied.

James Kolotouros, VP of Android platform partnerships, confirmed that OnePlus needed a waiver from Google to add Fortnite to its devices, and that the only other option was to give up its Premier revenue share.

Google later insisted that OnePlus made its own choice not to pre-install Fortnite, with an internal Google email revealing a request from OnePlus execs showed it the decision was made in order to maintain “sustainable long-term growth.”

The company added that 95% of Android phones in the US are not part of the Premier revenue share tier, and therefore able to pre-load apps from a non-Google marketplace if the manufacturer chooses.

Later in the day, the discussion moved to Samsung and Google’s relationship, with a message from the latter expressing concerns over being able to install Fortnite on a Samsung Note 8 without being warned it came from ‘Unknown Sources.’

Epic previously complained during the trial that non-Google Play apps face too many ‘unknown sources’ warnings when directly installed on Android, even when the app in question is as popular and established as the battle royale game.

“We really need to understand what’s going on (and I think DJ should, too),” the Google message to Samsung read, referencing Samsung mobile president DJ Koh. “Very concerned. Also surprised that it’s on Note 8 given what you said about Note 9 and Tab S4 only.”

Google claimed this was a concern over a security threat, citing another message sent to Samsung five days later that read: “I took a deeper look on Friday and discovered a vulnerability in the Fortnite installer (and Galaxy Apps private installer API) which allows a malicious app to install a fake version of Fortnite with arbitrary permissions granted.”

Epic’s lawyer said this vulnerability was corrected within a day.

The trial continues later today, with Google CEO Sundar Pichai due to appear as a witness. You can follow the biggest news from Epic vs Google here.

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