Epic Games Sues Apple, Google over Fortnite exclusion

16 Jan, 2021 Business News 535 0 Comment
Epic Games sues Apple, Google

Epic claims this act by Apple & Google is breach of competition laws and misuse of market position

Fortnite maker Epic Games has sued tech giants Apple and Google in the United Kingdom over their removal of the battle royale action game from the Apple App Store for iOS devices and the Google Play Store for Android mobile devices.

Legal act towards fair biz norms

Epic claims that Apple is unfairly restricting competition from other app stores as the Apple App Store is the de facto space to buy apps and make in-app purchases. The filing with the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CTA) also mentions that Apple is not allowing app developers to use their own payment processing services, and charging unfair fees on sales.

While Epic has levied similar charges against Google, alternate app stores and methods of purchasing apps and content are allowed on Android devices outside of Google Play.

Epic is not seeking monetary compensation but instead is asking the CTA to compel both Apple and Google to reinstate Epic’s removed software and accounts, permit developers to use payment-processing systems in their apps not owned by the platform owners, and allow consumers to download Epic’s software outside of the App Store and Google Play.

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Through this legal notice, Epic intends to ensure fair digital platform practices for consumers and developers. The developer believes that the high-handedness of both Apple and Google in monitoring content via their app stores is an abuse of a dominant position and in breach of the UK’s competition laws. This substantially reduces competition in app distribution and disrupts standard payment processes.

A chequered history

Legal tensions between Apple and Epic over Fortnite and in-app purchases started in August last year when the developer added a direct payment method for users to purchase in-game content that circumvented Apple’s built-in payment system on iOS. Apple claimed this act as a breach of contract, which led to the game being removed from the App Store.

In months that followed, Apple further tried to remove Epic’s developer status related to Unreal Engine 4, but a U.S. District Court stalled the move via a preliminary injunction. Epic’s game development platform is used by thousands of mobile games, including PUBG Mobile and Peacekeeper Elite.

Epic shall present its case on January 21, while Epic and Apple’s antitrust lawsuit will commence on May 3 in a California federal court.

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Anwesh Koley

POSTS BY Anwesh Koley

Anwesh has been a journalist for more than a decade and has worked across myriad sectors ranging from automotive, power, energy, finance, and SMEs. He is currently responsible for churning out relevant and exciting content for Ultimate Battle News.

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