Epic Games, is taking its battle against Apple's App Store practices to Europe

Epic Games, is taking its battle against Apple's App Store practices to Europe

Fortnite developer Epic Games is taking its battle against Apple's App Store practices to Europe.

The game studio filed a complaint with the EU competition body, alleging that Apple's deliberate use of anti-competitive restraints in the iOS ecosystem harmed competition in app distribution and payment processes.

Epic adds that Apple is benefiting by blocking rivals and that its conduct amounts to an abuse of power, putting it in violation of EU competition law.

The dispute between the two companies, which dates back to September, has led Epic to file several complaints against Apple on three continents.

Epic Games, is taking its battle against Apple's App Store practices to Europe

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It all started when Apple and Google removed Fortnite from their respective app stores after Epic added direct payments to the Battle Royale game.

Epic has responded with a lawsuit in California, claiming that Apple's prevention of alternative payments that circumvent the 30 percent commission it applies to purchases through the App Store is anti-competitive.

The developer has since filed similar complaints in Australia and the U.K. Its latest action adds to the pressure Apple is facing in Europe.

Where the European Commission has already launched several antitrust investigations into its App Store practices for music streaming, ebooks and in-app purchases, with a separate investigation examining its approach to mobile payments. It remains to be seen whether the litany of lawsuits against the iPhone maker will result in any material changes to its App Store tax.

Epic Games, is taking its battle against Apple's App Store practices to Europe

Perhaps in anticipation of any future regulatory measures, the company in November reduced the commission to 15 percent for smaller developers who do up to $1 million in sales per calendar year.

Epic

In a statement today, Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney criticized Apple for overriding consumer choice and developer freedom.

"What's at stake here is the very future of mobile platforms. Consumers have the right to install apps from sources of their choice, and developers have the right to compete in a fair marketplace. We will not stand 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 a complete lack of competition between stores and in-app payment processing. And it's bad for developers, whose livelihoods often depend on Apple's complete discretion as to who to allow to use the iOS platform and on what terms."

In its response, Apple said it is focusing on bringing Epic's flaws to light in Europe.

"For twelve years, the App Store has helped developers turn their brightest ideas into world-changing apps. Our priorities have always been to provide customers with a safe and trusted place to download software and to apply the rules equally to all developers. Epic has been one of the most successful developers in the App Store, growing into a multi-billion dollar business that reaches millions of iOS customers around the world, including in the EU. In ways that one judge described as deceptive and clandestine, Epic enabled a feature in its app that was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and did so with the express intent to violate App Store guidelines that apply equally to all developers and protect customers. Its reckless behavior turned customers into pawns and we look forward to making that clear to the European Commission."

Obviously, Epic disputes Apple's reading of the events and continues to state that it is looking for the rules to be changed to make things fairer for all developers.

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