Epic Games, the maker of the popular Fortnite game, has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission for abuse of power. The case revolves around the iPhone maker’s download store, the App Store.
There has been a legal battle between the two parties for quite some time and this saga adds some extra fuel to the fire.
According to Epic Games, the group is abusing its power in the app store to take advantage of it, while banning competitors. The game maker says he is thereby misusing his position of power and thereby acting in violation of European regulations.
30 percent commission
The biggest annoyance for Epic is the fact that Apple, like Google by the way, charges a 30 percent commission on purchases made in the Fortnite app. The game maker finished in August of last year and decided to introduce its payment system. Apple and Google then removed the app from their download stores because they don’t allow it.
“The future of mobile platforms is at stake here,” said Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games. “We will not stand idly by and allow Apple to use its dominant position to define what constitutes a digital playing field.” In Sweeney’s view, consumers have the right to install apps from sources of their choice and developers have a right to compete fairly with one another.
With this issue, Epic Games is putting Apple under extra pressure. The two have been engaged in a legal battle over the same issue in the United States for months. Last month, the game maker filed a lawsuit against Apple and Google in the UK. The same thing happened before, when Apple targeted only Australia.
Epic Games tried through courts in the US to force Apple to return the app to the App Store, but the company was wrong twice. As a result, the app is still not available on the download store.
European Commission investigation
It is not without reason that the case is now also referred to the European Commission. Not only is Brussels not afraid of billions of dollars in fines being imposed on major tech companies, an investigation is already underway into Apple’s misuse of power in the App Store following complaints from Spotify, among others. It is not clear if Epic Games intends to join, although the company refers to this investigation in its statement.
A spokesperson for the committee confirms receipt of the complaint and it will be reviewed. In response, Apple said the game maker was “one of the most successful developers in the App Store” reaching millions of iOS users around the world. It also says that Epic has chosen to introduce its payment system for the “express purpose” of violating the download store rules. Apple talks about “reckless behavior” and plans to explain it like this in Brussels.
Not only Epic Games and Spotify are dissatisfied with Apple. Last fall, various parties united in the coalition for fairness of applications. The organization, which now has 46 members, wants to force the tech giant to make changes based on ten points.