Judge Donato is ordering Epic and Google to have settlement discussions — which Epic lead attorney Gary Bornstein has just revealed have not yet happened at all. Repeat: Epic and Google have never formally attempted to settle this case before now.
“If you win, what are you planning to ask for?” asks the judge — because Epic has not articulated that clearly before now either. (The Verge has also asked Epic and been partly rebuffed.)
Epic says it’s asking for three things: freedom for Epic and other developers to introduce their own stores without restriction, total freedom to use its own billing system, and an anti-circumvention provision “just to be sure Google can’t reintroduce the same problems through some alternative creative solution.”
Judge Donato says the last won’t happen: “We don’t do don’t- break-the-law injunctions... if you have a problem, you can come back.”
He says the first two asks feel like they’re doable in a settlement: “Spotify pays 4 percent or 0 percent and has its own billing... you need to be clear with your client who’s sitting behind you that [settlement negotations are] going to happen.”
(Epic CEO Tim Sweeney is sitting behind him. I don’t see a visible change of expression on Sweeney’s face.)
Google will call Rich Miner, a co-founder of Android, as soon as tomorrow as it begins its case for counterclaims.
The plan is to finish up evidence on Friday the 1st and begin closing arguments on Monday the 11th.
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