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Apple removes Fortnite from App Store, Epic Games take them to court

Published: 20:39, 13 August 2020
Updated: 20:53, 13 August 2020
Epic Games
Hands holding a phone with the user playing Fortnite iOS
Fortnite Battle Royale, iOS version

Epic Games have been pretty vocal about Apple's business practices lately, and now they'll try to argue their case in court, not long after Fortnite got removed from the App Store.

This morning, Epic Games announced permanent discounts on V-Bucks across all the platforms, as long as players use the direct payment method. Apple's rules, however, don't allow for this so Fortnite was removed. 

It appears like this was Epic's plan all along, as they responded pretty quickly with a complaint for injunctive relief, alleging that Apple's conduct violates Section 2 of the Sherman Act. 

"Rather than tolerate this healthy competition and compete on the merits of its offering, Apple responded by removing Fortnite from sale on the App Store", the company wrote.

Epic's complaint even points at the irony of Apple's 1984 commercial, where they were portrayed as the company that breaks IBM's monopoly, only to become "the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation". 

The document argues that Apple uses anti-competitive restraints and monopolistic practices in two key areas - the distribution of apps, and the processing of payments for digital content inside iOS mobile apps. 

"Apple imposes unreasonable and unlawful restraints to completely monopolize both markets and prevent software developers from reaching the over one billion users of its mobile devices (e.g., iPhone and iPad) unless they go through a single store controlled by Apple, the App Store, where Apple exacts an oppressive 30% tax on the sale of every app", the complaint reads.

Epic Games A ranger-looking character from Fortnite iOs running on a soccer field Fortnite Battle Royale, iOS version

Interestingly, Epic seek injunctive relief, i.e. for Apple to stop what they're doing, and they specifically said they're not seeking any monetary damages. 

"Epic seeks to end Apple's dominance over key technology markets, open up the space for progress and ingenuity, and ensure that Apple mobile devices are open to the same competition as Apple’s personal computers",  the document reads. 

You can find the full text of Epic Games' complaint here .

Fortnite: Battle Royale iOS

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A man with an axe running through a forest in SCUM
Fortnite Battle Royale, iOS version
Fortnite has arrived to iOS devices.

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