Epic Games Files Apple Antitrust Complaint in the EU

by in Fortnite | Feb, 17th 2021

Since there have been some developments, it has been a while, but now we have the latest news on the ongoing war between Epic Games and Apple. The two massive tech companies are going deeper into battle as Epic has now filed a new Apple antitrust complaint against the company. 

Epic Games Files a Complaint Against Apple in the EU

In a blog post, Epic Games announced that it had filed an Apple antitrust complaint against the European Union company, adding more locations to the legal battle between the two companies and further adding fuel to the fire. 

The Apple antitrust complaint was filed in the EU directly with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition recently, deepening the battle for the future of these two companies, the App Store, and more as the war wages on in some new locations. 

According to Epic Games and its announcement, this decision to file the complaint against Apple has expanded the fight to “advance fairer digital platform practices for developers and consumers.” It seems that this complaint is going to be the next step for the Fortnite developer. 

This follows upon the other battles that are already waging in the world between the two companies. They each try to show that they have not violated their rights and defend their ability to continue doing things the way they would like to. 

Complaint States That Apple Has Eliminated Competition

The actual Apple antitrust complaint states that it is alleging that Apple has “not just harmed but eliminated competition in-app distribution and payment processes.” Those are bold statements from Epic Games. It doesn’t hold the punches in terms of what it is trying to say. 

Epic alleges that it is proven that this has happened by the series of carefully designed anti-competitive restrictions that Apple has put in place for years now for its App Store and other services. According to the Fortnite creator, Apple uses its control of the iOS ecosystem to make this happen. 

The company is allegedly using this dominant control to help itself while blocking the competitors from being able to benefit as well. Thus, the Fortnite company believes that Apple’s conduct is an abuse of the dominant position that it can hold.

In this way, it is allegedly in breach of the EU competition law for companies like this. This is what the Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney had to say about the Apple antitrust complaint situation today: “What’s at stake here is the very future of mobile platforms.” Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said today. “Consumers have the right to install apps from sources of their choosing and developers have the right to compete in a fair marketplace. We will not stand idly by and allow Apple to use its platform dominance to control what should be a level digital playing field. It’s bad for consumers, who are paying inflated prices due to the complete lack of competition among stores and in-app payment processing. And it’s bad for developers, whose very livelihoods often hinge on Apple’s complete discretion as to who to allow on the iOS platform, and on which terms.”

Complaint in EU Joins Three Other Apple and Epic Games Battles

The complaint filed against Apple in the EU is joining the other three battles that have already begun in other places. Previously, the fight began in the U.S. where both companies are located and then spread to Australia and, most recently, the UK. 

There are actual legal battles in both the U.S. and Australia, while the UK is where Epic Games filed before the Competition Appeal Tribunal. It is even possible that these four locations are far from the only ones in which Epic may battle against Apple. 

It all started in the summer of 2020 in which Epic Games made V-Bucks cheaper for most players on all of the platforms. This was something that had no issue when it came to consoles and PC. In the case of the mobile devices, though, it was a different story. 

To circumvent the App Store and Google Play Store, Epic Games introduced mobile players’ ability to buy currency from it directly and save some cash in the process. But this allegedly broke the terms of service that Epic agreed to. Google and Apple took the game down because of it. 

It Could Be a While Before Changes Come

Almost immediately afterward, Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple for this. It led to an entire situation that is still ongoing to this day. The actual court battle has yet to truly begin in the U.S., as that is scheduled to happen later this year. 

As such, it will likely be some time before we see a winner emerge here and changes that come after that. But what we do know is that Epic is requesting the EU to impose some timely measures against Apple, so there is a possibility of some changes happening soon. 

Those measures do not include Apple damages as Epic Games is solely filing a complaint from what we know in the EU. However, that is not the case in the other locations of the U.S., Australia, and the UK, where damages are sought after by the Fortnite developer. 

Only time will tell what happens but, according to Epic, the European Commission is already investigating Apple following complaints from other app developers. 


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