Epic Games Takes Legal Battle With Apple to Europe With Antitrust Complaint

Epic Games has filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in the European Union, broadening its legal battle against the tech giant by attempting to appeal to the EU's differing interpretation of antitrust issues compared to those in the United States (via The Wall Street Journal).

fortnite apple logo 2
Last September, ‌Epic Games‌‌‌ added a Fortnite update that allowed customers to purchase in-game currency directly from ‌Epic, skirting Apple's in-app purchases. That is against Apple's rules, and the move led Apple to pull the app from the App Store, which Epic clearly anticipated, as it wasted no time in taking Apple to court and releasing an anti-Apple marketing campaign simultaneously.

In August, Apple followed through with a threat to terminate ‌‌‌Epic Games‌‌‌' developer account and countersued Epic in October, claiming breach of contract. Last year, Google pulled Fortnite from the Google Play Store for the same reason – introducing a payment system that bypasses the standard app store policy that sees the hosting platform take a 30% share of in-app purchases.

Epic's legal complaint against Apple in the EU joins plaintiffs including Spotify that have prompted a formal investigation by the European Commission into Apple's alleged anticompetitive behavior.

"What's at stake here is the very future of mobile platforms," said Epic founder and Chief Executive Officer Tim Sweeney. "We will not stand idly by and allow Apple to use its platform dominance to control what should be a level digital playing field."

Sweeney said that while the legal case filed in Europe targets Apple, "the broad outlines… are equally applicable to Google, though the timing may be different."

Europe uses different standards than the U.S. when it comes to antitrust issues, focusing more on fairness between competitors than their impact on consumers, which the U.S tends to focus on. Epic has also filed similar lawsuits in Australia and the U.K., accusing Apple of an abuse of dominance.

The European Commission has yet to comment on Epic's complaint, which remains confidential. However, the Commission's ongoing investigation, launched last year, into how Apple Pay is the only contactless payment service allowed on iOS devices, may factor into its considerations of Epic's argument that Apple's operating system should be open to competing stores.

Top Rated Comments

TehFalcon Avatar
17 months ago
Epic games is such a terrible company. They are nearing EA’s level of scum in the Video Game industry.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
svanstrom Avatar
17 months ago

Since Europe hates Apple they might have a chance here. We'll see!
As a European: No, we don't.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wilhoitm Avatar
17 months ago

They might win in Europe. The European Union have a habit of ruling against big tech companies.
Epic is smoking crack if they are suing both Apple and Google and expect to win! Instead of bitching and moaning about this, they should have done an IPO! What a waste of time, money, and resources!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
louisitou Avatar
17 months ago

I'm European too, I'd say except the U.K., which is not in the EU anymore, they pretty much hate Apple, but they hate the rest of GAFAM too.
im European too, and its the first time i hear this claim lol. Apple is very popular here and preferred in many situations.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JouniS Avatar
17 months ago

You guys, seem to be little bit confused, we are not talking about being popular or hated, its about european government, laws and politics
Do they hate Apple? Europe dont like american company who are involved in position of monopoly/antitrust
Keep in mind, Europe is far different from USA, its part of our DNA/mind, we are not too capitalist/liberal
I'd rather say this is a difference between two kinds of capitalism: pro-business and pro-market.

In pro-business capitalism, governments make decisions that benefit established businesses, sometimes raising the barriers of entry for new businesses. Any political system that allows lobbying naturally leans towards pro-business, because the established businesses have the means to advance their interests.

In contrast, pro-market capitalism strives to keep the barriers of entry for new businesses low, sometimes at the expense of established businesses. The EU is one of the few major entities with significant pro-market tendencies, and even that is more by accident than by design.

EU member states would like nothing more than preferring domestic businesses over their EU competitors. Because the EU is supposed to be a single market, it can't allow that. Member states are legally required to treat domestic businesses and businesses from other member states equally. This is the single most important thing about the EU to remember. As the EU exists to enforce free competition between businesses from different member states, the same attitude leaks to its other operations.

In particular, the EU really dislikes anti-competitive business practices, especially when they threaten the single market principle. If the anti-competitive practices are unavoidable, the EU regulates them to create competition. For example, if you own a mobile network or a power grid, you are legally required to let your competitors use it for a fair price. When the EU sees a major business, it always thinks about regulating the market to let new businesses compete against it.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Shanghaichica Avatar
17 months ago
They might win in Europe. The European Union have a habit of ruling against big tech companies.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

fortnite apple logo south korea feature 1

Epic Games Asks Apple to Restore Fortnite in South Korea Following Ban on In-App Purchase Requirement [Update]

Thursday September 9, 2021 5:00 pm PDT by
Epic Games today said that it has asked Apple to reinstate its Fortnite developer account because it intends to release Fortnite in South Korea. South Korea in late August passed a bill that bans Apple from requiring developers to use its in-app purchase system. The bill forces Apple (and Google) to let developers use third-party payment methods to make purchases. Epic Games now says that ...
app store blue banner uk fixed

Epic Games Files Complaint to Support UK Antitrust Watchdog's Apple Probe

Tuesday March 30, 2021 4:19 am PDT by
Epic Games today said it had filed a complaint to the UK's antitrust watchdog in support of the government department's ongoing investigation into Apple's alleged anti-competitive behavior. In September 2020, the United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an initial inquiry into developers' complaints about Apple's App Store and so-called "anti-competitive" practices....
fortnite apple logo 2

Apple's Filings in Epic Games Case Argue It Has Reduced Industry Commissions, While Third-Party App Stores Would Compromise Privacy and Security

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:02 pm PDT by
Prior to its upcoming bench trial with Epic Games, Apple filed hundreds of pages of documents covering findings of fact, which include some interesting and previously unknown tidbits about Epic Games. Epic Games planned its rebellion against Apple for at least two years ahead of when it opted to brazenly violate Apple's App Store rules, with Apple's App Store fees at the heart of the...
app store blue banner epic 1

Epic vs. Apple Takes a Twist As 35 US States and Department of Justice Weigh in to Back 'Fortnite' Maker

Friday January 28, 2022 4:27 am PST by
Apple is stifling competition with its monopoly on app distribution through the App Store, attorneys general for 35 states told a California appeals court on Thursday. The joint statement was submitted into the appeals process that is ongoing following the judge's decision in the Epic v. Apple lawsuit, with the attorneys general siding with the "Fortnite" video game maker on the issue,...
maxresdefault

Hands On: Testing Fortnite on iOS Using GeForce NOW

Thursday February 17, 2022 11:54 am PST by
Fortnite has been unavailable to play on the iPhone and iPad since Apple banned it from the App Store in August 2020 amid an ongoing legal battle with Epic Games, but the battle royale game is coming back to iOS devices thanks to Nvidia's GeForce NOW gaming service. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. GeForce NOW is a browser-based gaming service that will allow iPhone ...
fortnite apple logo geforce feature

Fortnite Coming Back to iOS Soon Thanks to Nvidia's GeForce NOW Service

Thursday January 13, 2022 11:19 am PST by
With the Apple vs. Epic Games lawsuit continuing on, there are no signs that Apple has any intention of allowing popular battle royale game Fortnite to return to the App Store on iPhone and iPad. Epic Games has found a workaround though, by partnering up with Nvidia. GeForce NOW, Nvidia's streaming gaming service, will soon add Fortnite support, allowing Fortnite to be played through a...
fortnite apple featured

Apple Won't Allow Fortnite Back in the App Store Until Legal Battle Ends Due to Epic's 'Duplicitous Conduct'

Wednesday September 22, 2021 9:49 am PDT by
Apple has no plans to allow Fortnite to return to the App Store in the near future, Apple's lawyers told Epic's lawyers this week. Further, Apple does not plan to consider requests for the reinstatement of the Epic Games developer account until the court's judgment is "final and nonappealable," a process that could span years. Apple provided this information to Epic Games after Epic CEO Tim...
fortnite apple featured

Judge in Upcoming Epic v. Apple Trial to Limit In-Person Attendees

Friday March 26, 2021 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple and Epic Games lawyers are continuing to plan for their upcoming May 3 bench trial, and in a preparatory conference held today, the judge overseeing the case said that attendance will be limited due to the ongoing global health crisis (via Law360). U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has been planning for an in-person trial because she believes that the case is significant...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
apple music

Apple Increases Apple Music Subscription Price for Students in Several Countries

Sunday May 22, 2022 1:57 am PDT by
Apple has silently increased the price of its Apple Music subscription for college students in several countries, with the company emailing students informing them their subscription would be slightly increasing in price moving forward. The price change is not widespread and, based on MacRumors' findings, will impact Apple Music student subscribers in but not limited to Australia, the...
EA Apple Maybe Feature

Apple Reportedly Talked With Electronic Arts About Potential Acquisition

Monday May 23, 2022 10:58 am PDT by
Apple is one of several companies that have held talks with Electronic Arts (EA) about a potential purchase, according to a new report from Puck. EA has spoken to several "potential suitors," including Apple, Amazon, and Disney as it looks for a merger arrangement. Apple and the other companies declined to comment, and the status of the talks is not known at this time, but Apple does have an ...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...