Apple and Google remove Fortnite, developer files lawsuit

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Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple and Google after the removal of Fortnite from their app stores. This is because Epic introduced a new feature to offer in-app purchases, which means Apple and Google are missing out on revenue.

Epic Games announced the new billing system on Thursday. Developers have to transfer thirty percent of each purchase to Apple and Google, but this new system circumvents this rule. Users can choose to make purchases via Apple and Google, or with a 20 percent discount via Epic Games itself.

Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store the same day. According to the company, the new billing system violates the regulations of Apple. “Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users”, according to an Apple spokesperson.

Google’s response did not take long. The company stated that every purchase in-game has to go through the Google Play billing system.

Monopoly

Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple just hours after the removal of Fortnite. Epic claims that Apple has a monopoly with the App Store, which renders fair competition impossible. The company hopes that the lawsuit will not result in compensation, but will enforce fair rules for all companies that do business through the App Store. “Epic is seeking injunctive relief to allow fair competition in these two key markets that directly affect hundreds of millions of consumers and tens of thousands, if not more, of third-party app developers.”

In the lawsuit against Google, the company was also accused of monopolistic behaviour. On Android, users are still able to install Fortnite with a third-party client, but Apple users don’t have that luxury. Every app on iOS can only be released through the App Store.

Expected

Everything indicates that Epic knew what was coming. The company filed the lawsuit just hours after Fortnite was removed. The publisher also published a video on YouTube comparing Apple’s practices with George Orwell’s 1984 book about a totalitarian society. The video is also a parody of an advertisement for the Apple Macintosh that was released in 1984.