Epic Games Files Lawsuit Against Apple in Australia
The tale of Epic and Apple going to war over Fortnite is far from over, with the court date set for 2021. This lawsuit between Apple and Epic has extended beyond the U.S. borders, with another suit dropping into Australia. Epic Games has sued Apple Australia for its removal of Fortnite, alleging they are engaging in “monopolistic behavior” and overall harming app development’s ability to be competitive.
This doesn’t seem to be different from the previous suit, only that it’s in a different part of the world this time. However, Apple’s business system is reported to make pricing for the consumer to go up, and thus, feel markedly unfair.
Section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act
This newest lawsuit from Epic Games to Apple Australia is still based on the same original complaint. Apple removed Fortnite from the iOS store because Epic Games added its method of purchasing in-game currency. The complaint was that the price on the iOS app was too high. This way, fans of Fortnite could buy the in-game currency for the same price it is on other apps/platforms instead. This did not sit well with Apple as a company.
The court filing had this to say: “Apple’s conduct has forced Epic and other app developers to pay Apple monopoly prices [the 30% commission] in connection with all in-app purchases of their in-app content on iOS devices.”
The 2017 Australian “Competition and Consumer Act” forbids “a firm with a substantial degree of market power from engaging in conduct that has the purpose, effect, or likely effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.” It seems that Epic Games hope to add a second front to the lawsuit to bully Apple in retaliation for their actions.
Now, according to Esports Observer, a federal judge rejected a majority of Apple’s counterclaims in the U.S. except “breach of contract.” We have no idea what, if anything, will come from this new lawsuit in Australia. Perhaps Epic Games feels their case in the U.S. is a bit weaker, and a win in Australia could set a precedent for them in the U.S. We’ll be keeping our eye on this as it develops well.