Epic Games takes Apple legal dispute to EU antitrust watchdogs

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The company that created Fortnite, Epic Games, is taking its fight with Apple to the European Union’s antitrust regulators, after attempts to make headway in a US court failed. The case was over a dispute involving Apple’s iPhone maker’s payment system in its App Store and control over apps downloads.

The two companies have been in a legal dispute since August last year, when Epic Games decided to go around Apple’s 30% fee on in-app purchases on the App Store, by creating and launching its own in-app payment system.

That led to Apple kicking Epic Games’ Fortnite game off the App Store.

Epic’s troubles

Not only did it remove the game, but Apple also threatened to terminate an affiliated account that would have stopped the distribution of Unreal Engine, a tool used in game creation.

Tim Sweeney, the founder, and Chief Executive at Epic Games said that Apple’s total control of its platform leads to actions like this when the company tilts the playing field to its advantage.

Speaking to reporters, Sweeney said that the company can take the 30% it charges as app tax and make it 50% or 90% or 100%, all the whole defending its right to do that.

Apple’s anticompetitive behavior

Epic, according to Sweeney, is not asking any court or regulator to change the 30%, but to bring competition back to iOS, Apple’s mobile devices operating system. The company has also been accused of barring rivals from launching gaming subscription services on its platform.

Apple did this by preventing bundling several games together, even though it does that on its Apple Arcade service.

The iPhone maker insists that its rules are equally enforced on all developers and that Epic had breached these rules. Criticism over this has come from other companies like Spotify, Microsoft, and Match Group.