And it continues: Epic Games has filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in the European Union (EU).
The complaint, filed with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition, alleges that through a series of carefully designed anti-competitive restrictions, the tech giant hasn’t just harmed but completely eliminated competition in app distribution and payment processes. It says Apple uses its control of the iOS ecosystem to benefit itself while blocking competitors and its conduct is an abuse of a dominant position and in breach of EU competition law.
The complaint goes along with legal processes already underway in both the U.S. and Australia, as well as Epic’s recent filing before the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal.
This is all part of an ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic. On Aug. 13,2020, Epic Games announced that it had introduced a new direct payment option in the Fortnite app for iPhone and iPad, allowing players to purchase 1000 V-Bucks for US$7.99 rather than $9.99 through Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism. Shortly thereafter, Apple removed the gamer from the App Store for violating store polices and followed up by shutting down the company’s developer account. Epic immediately filed a lawsuit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
In September 2020 Apple filed a countersuit to stop the game maker from using its own payment system for Fortnite. Apple also accused Epic of theft and sought extra monetary damages beyond breach of contract.