Epic Games is doubling down on its legal battle with Apple in the UK. As first reported by Bloomberg, Epic has made a new filing in the UK slamming Apple for its decision to remove Fortnite from the App Store, saying that the company is abusing its “dominant position” in the market.
This is the first step in Epic’s quest to get Fortnite reinstated on the App Store in the UK. The company highlights three allegations against Apple, all in regards to the company’s control over the iOS in-app payment processing market.
- reserving to itself the sole channel for the distribution of apps to and/or the payment processing mechanism for purchases of in-app content for and by consumers who use iPhones and iPads
- using its position of dominance to charge unfair prices for the distribution of apps via the App Store and/or use of the Apple IAP
- its response to the introduction by Epic of price competition for purchases of in-app content in Fortnite
Epic Games is seeking relief from the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal, asking the agency to declare that Apple’s removal of Fortnite from the UK App Store was “unlawful.” The company also seeks an order requiring Apple to remove the restriction on third-party in-app payment processing.
Other relief requested by Epic Games:
- an order restraining Apple from taking or threatening further action against Epic in relation to certain changes it made to the Fortnite iOS app
- an order requiring Apple to reinstate the relevant Apple Developer Account
- an order preventing Apple from making access to the iOS software and/or any other Apple software conditional on the use of the App Store and/or the Apple IAP
In a statement to 9to5Mac, Tera Randall, Epic’s VP of communications and policy, said:
Epic Games has launched legal proceedings against Apple and Google in the United Kingdom, expanding its fight to advance fair digital platform practices for consumers and developers.
The legal proceedings, filed in London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal, allege the conduct of both Apple and Google in their respective app stores is an abuse of a dominant position and in breach of the UK’s competition laws, substantially reducing competition in app distribution and payment processes.
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. We look forward to making our case on January 21.
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.
As a refresher, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store because Epic Games implemented its own payment process system for in-app purchases that evaded Apple’s In-App Purchase system. The two companies are currently engaged in a legal battle, with a trial set for later this year in the United States.
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