By: Editorial Staff, Date: February 23rd, 2021
Epic Games – best known as the creator of Fortnite – recently announced that it has filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Commission. The lawsuit claims that the 30% cut that Apple takes on all App Store purchases is anti-competitive, and a spokesperson from Epic Games was quoted saying that Apple has, “not just harmed but completely eliminated competition in app distribution and payment processes.”
This lawsuit comes after Epic Games attempted last summer to launch its own in-app payment system in an effort to avoid the 30% cut that Apple takes on all in-app purchases. In response, Apple chose to pull Fortnite from its App Store and revoke Epic Games’ developer license. In a statement, Apple said, “Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines that apply equally to every developer and protect customers. Their reckless behavior made pawns of customers, and we look forward to making this clear to the European Commission.”
In May, both companies are set to give their statements in court, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has already been instructed to join the seven-hour deposition. This latest lawsuit comes in addition to an ongoing investigation by the European Commission that was started last year to look into whether Apple’s practice of forcing app developers to use its in-app payment system is a violation of competition law.
In the United States, meanwhile, Apple has already seen one victory in regard to its ability to regulate in-app purchases after the North Dakota Senate voted down a bill that would have required app stores to allow developers to use their own payment processing software. With other famous developers such as Spotify filing complaints against the company’s practices, though, there is likely much more litigation on the horizon before this battle between Apple and its developers can be settled.
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