MarketWatch.com: In a true Battle Royale, Apple and Fortnite maker appear headed for a courtroom
The maker of “Fortnite” has launched a Battle Royale against Apple Inc., accusing the tech giant of seeking to “unlawfully maintain its monopoly.”
Epic Games said Thursday it filed legal papers against Apple AAPL, +1.77% after the iPhone maker booted the company’s hit game “Fortnite” out of its App Store. Apple removed the game after Epic began offering players a discount on in-game purchases if they opted to make a direct payment and not buy their digital offerings through the App Store.
Apple charges developers 30% or 15% of purchases made through the App Store, which has been the focus of antitrust investigations into the company, which is worth nearly $2 trillion thanks to the money it collects from the iPhone and the apps and services that are delivered through it. Epic has long tried to avoid paying such fees, previously launching its own store to get around Alphabet Inc.’s GOOGL, +0.62% GOOG, +0.78% similar Play Store that is bundled with Google’s rival Android operating system.
After Epic publicly announced that it would offer users on Apple’s iOS operating system a discount on purchases if they made it through their own store instead of through Apple, the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant removed the app from the App Store. In response, Epic filed a lawsuit against Apple that says it seeks “to end Apple’s unfair and anticompetitive that Apple undertakes to unlawfully maintain its monopoly” involving app distribution and in-app purchases.
Apple didn’t immediately respond to a MarketWatch request for comment, but did release a statement to other news organizations ahead of the news of Epic’s lawsuit. The statement argued that Epic Games introduced the feature without the company’s approval and did so “with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments.”
The statement also said that Apple will “make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store.”
Epic didn’t immediately reply to MarketWatch’s request for comment.
Apple’s fee policies around the App Store have come under increased scrutiny from both developers and regulators recently. Big developers including Spotify Technology SA SPOT, +0.20% have looked for ways to avoid paying Apple a cut of subscription fees and the developers of Hey, a new email app, publicly battled with Apple in June after the email service rolled out its app without an option to buy subscriptions from within the app. Apple and Hey’s developers eventually reached a compromise.
Regulators and lawmakers in the U.S. and Europe have also questioned the company’s App Store policies and whether they stifle competition.
Apple shares were up 1.9% in Thursday trading and have gained 50% in the past three months as the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.28% , which counts Apple as a component, has added 20%.
Content courtesy of MarketWatch published on , original article here.