The company made the announcement on its blog published yesterday (February 17), alleging that “through a series of carefully designed anti-competitive restrictions, Apple has not just harmed but completely eliminated competition in app distribution and payment processes”.
Epic Games has also stated that similar complaints have been filed in “both the US and Australia, as well as Epic’s recent filing before the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal”.
The filing of the antitrust complaint by Epic Games is the latest development in the two companies’ ongoing legal battles, which dates back to August last year when Epic Games filed for action against Apple and Google following Fortnite’s removal from the respective mobile app marketplaces. Epic Games filed legal action against Apple after the company pulled Fortnite from its App Store.
The dispute stemmed from August 13, when Epic Games introduced “Epic direct payment”, which allowed players to purchase Fortnite’s in-game currency directly from the developer, bypassing Apple’s App Store and Google Play, circumventing the two companies’ 30 per cent claim of all revenue made through the marketplaces. Apple subsequently terminated Epic Games’ developer account from the App Store.
“Consumers have the right to install apps from sources of their choosing and developers have the right to compete in a fair marketplace,” said Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney in the latest blogpost.
“We will not stand idly by and allow Apple to use its platform dominance to control what should be a level digital playing field,” he added.
“It’s bad for consumers, who are paying inflated prices due to the complete lack of competition among stores and in-app payment processing. And it’s bad for developers, whose very livelihoods often hinge on Apple’s complete discretion as to who to allow on the iOS platform, and on which terms.”
Apple has yet to respond to the latest antitrust complaint filed against the company.