New front opened on Epic struggle with Apple

18 February, 2021
Fortnite creator Epic Games has used its fight Apple to European Union antitrust regulators, escalating its dispute with the iPhone maker over its App Retail outlet payment system and control above app downloads.

The two companies have been around in a dispute since August, when the overall game maker tried to avoid Apple's 30 % fee on some in-app purchases on the App Store by launching its in-app payment system.

That prompted Apple to kick Epic's Fortnite video game off the App Store and threaten to terminate an affiliated account that could have effectively blocked distribution of Unreal Engine, a program used by a huge selection of iphone app makers to create video games.

Epic Game titles founder and chief executive Tim Sweeney said Apple's control of its platform had tilted the particular level playing field.

"The 30 per cent they fee as their software tax, they are able to make it 50 % or 90 % or 100 per cent. Under their theory of how these market segments are structured, they possess every right to do this," he told reporters.

"Epic is not asking any court or perhaps regulator to change this 30 % to another number, only to restore competition on IOS," he said, discussing Apple's mobile operating-system.

The business also accused Apple of barring rivals from launching their own game-playing subscription service on its platform by protecting against them from bundling several games together, despite the fact that its Apple Arcade service will that.

Apple said its guidelines applied equally to all coders and that Epic had violated them.

"With techniques a judge has referred to as deceptive and clandestine, Epic enabled a feature in its app, that was not reviewed or approved by Apple, plus they did as a result with the exhibit intent of violating the App Retail outlet rules that apply equally to every programmer and protect customers," the business said in a statement.

"Their reckless behaviour manufactured pawns of customers, and we anticipate making this distinct to the European Commission," it said.

Epic Games' EU complaint drew support from lawmaker Rasmus Andresen at the European Parliament, that will in coming months seek to reinforce EU tech guidelines proposed by the Commission to rein on US tech giants.

"We as legislators have to ensure that these systems who act as gatekeepers in the digital industry have to respect a predefined group of rules to assure good competition and balanced industry powers," he stated in a statement.

Apple has in recent months made changes to it has the practices by lowering fees for a few developers and giving them ways to challenge it is rulings. Such procedures have not satisfied the company's critics.

Fortnite is likely to go back to the iPhone at some time in the cellular Safari browser within Nvidia's streaming game support.

Epic 1st pursued legal action against Apple in america and the two parties have in new weeks have been trading docs and conducting depositions before a trial scheduled for May.

The European Commission, which is investigating Apple's cellular payment system Apple Pay and the App Store, confirmed receipt of the complaint.

"We will determine it based on our standard methods," a Commission spokeswoman said.

Epic Games in addition has complained to the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal and the Australian watchdog.

Big companies such as Microsoft, Spotify and Match Group have also criticised Apple's App Store service fees and rules.