‘Fortnite’ maker Epic takes its Apple battle to Brussels
Epic Games, developer of the popular Fortnite game and one of the world’s largest video game companies, announced on Wednesday that it had filed an antitrust complaint against Apple AAPL with the European Commission (-2.08%).
The complaint alleges that the Cupertino, Calif.-Based iPhone maker has not only harmed, but completely eliminated, competition in the distribution and payment of apps in its popular app store with “a set of carefully crafted anti-competitive restrictions”.
The two companies have been involved in a lawsuit since August 2020 when Apple kicked “Fortnite” from the store and revoked Epic’s developer license after the game maker found a way to bypass the 30% fee charged by the App Store -Sellers was imposed.
Apple claims that Epic acted “with the express intention of violating guidelines that apply to all developers alike.” The two companies are facing a US trial that is due to take place in May.
Epic said that in its filing with the European Union, it is not seeking compensation, but is instead calling on the Commission to take “timely and effective remedial action”.
From the archives (December 2020): Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon could expect fines of billions of dollars due to new EU tech regulations
The outlook: Prior to Epic’s complaint, Brussels had already opened a formal investigation into the App Store, in particular its purchase system, in June 2020. The commission wanted to “ensure that Apple’s rules do not distort competition in markets where Apple competes with other app developers”.
The EU investigation will be separate from the US trial. However, the trial in a California court, where Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to testify for seven hours, will give a good impression of the legal arguments developed in the case.
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