Epic Games, the developer behind Fortnite, among others, has filed a complaint with the European Commission about Apple’s App Store. With that, the legal battle is now being fought in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and the European Union.
The ball started rolling in August. Then Epic Games launched their own payment system to escape the 15 to 30 percent commission they have to pay to Apple on in-app purchases. Apple then removed Fortnite from the App Store.
Epic Games, in turn, took Apple to court in California. The company wanted to force Apple to re-include its Fortnite game in the App Store, but it failed. If all goes according to plan, the two sides will meet again in May in a US court.
Complaint to European Commission
In the meantime, Epic Games has also filed a complaint with the European Commission. The complaint is that Apple has completely destroyed competition in the distribution and payment process of apps due to all kinds of restrictions. According to the game giant, this violates European competition law.
“The commission up to 30 percent that Apple charges can be increased at any time to, say, 50 or even 100 percent. According to their theory of how these markets are structured, they have every right to do so, ”said Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Games.
“We are not asking regulators or courts to adjust the rate Apple charges, but are pleading to restore competition on iOS,” he continued.
The company also accused Apple of preventing competitors from launching their own games subscription service on its platform by preventing them from bundling different games, although its own service, called Apple Arcade, does.
In a response, Apple says that the rules apply to all developers. “In a way that has been described by a judge as deceptive and clandestine, Epic Games has activated a feature in its app that has not been reviewed or approved by Apple. The company has deliberately done this to violate the App Store guidelines, ”argues Apple.
In November, Epic Games also extended the legal battle to Australia and the United Kingdom followed in January. Epic Games is currently not seeking compensation. “We are only looking for fair access and competition that benefits consumers and developers,” he said.
Apple is already in the crosshairs of the European Commission, which has already launched several investigations into the group, one of which was a complaint from Swedish music streaming giant Spotify for abusing a dominant position in the online music market.