The ongoing legal battle between Epic Games and Apple (and to a lesser extent, Epic Games and Google) that was kicked off when Fortnite was removed from the App Store on iOS and Play Store on Android was one of 2020’s biggest stories in the industry. That battle is, of course, still ongoing (and will stretch on for a considerable period of time), and Epic have now taken the next step in the dispute.
As GamesIndustry reports, the company has filed claims against Apple and Google in the UK before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, accusing the two companies of abusing their “dominant position” in the market and engaging in “anti-competitive agreements/concerted practices.” Their claims are largely similar to the ones they have built their dispute on against Apple and Google in the US over the last few months.
In its claim against Apple, Epic asks that the removal of Fornite from the App Store in the UK is revoked, and that users are allowed to make direct in-app purchases (which was what kicked off this whole mess originally). Epic wants Apple to remove the requirements for all apps to be downloaded and all their in-app purchases to be made via the App Store, and additionally, also asks for users on Apple devices to be allowed to download the Epic Games Store app.
Where Google is concerned, Epic asks for Google to be stopped from preventing manufacturers of Android phones into entering into agreements with Epic Games regarding devices with a pre-installed Epic Games Store app, and conversely to stop them from stipulating that all devices must have the Play Store pre-installed.
Epic’s VP of communications and VP said in a statement to GamesIndustry: “We believe that this is an important argument to make on behalf of consumers and developers in the UK and around the world who are impacted by Apple and Google’s misuse of market power. Epic is not seeking damages from Apple or Google in the UK, Australia or the US, it is simply seeking fair access and competition that will benefit all consumers.”
Meanwhile, Apple has released its own statement in response to the claim as well, stating: “For twelve years, the App Store has helped developers turn their brightest ideas into apps that change the world. 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 on the App Store, growing into a multibillion dollar business that reaches millions of iOS customers around the world, including the United Kingdom.
“In ways a judge has described as deceptive and clandestine, Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines that apply equally to every developer and protect customers. Their reckless behavior made pawns of customers, and we look forward to making this clear to courts in the UK.”