Epic Games has expanded its ongoing legal battle against Apple and Google by filing a new lawsuit in the UK. The Fortnite developer continues to speak out against “abuse of the dominant position” in the mobile platform market.
The developer is now calling on the Competition Appeal Tribunal to rule that the removal of the game from the App Store and Google Play was illegal, as well as certain terms in the companies' agreements with the developers. Epic Games also wants Fortnite to be restored on both stores and direct in-game payments to be allowed.
In a filing against Apple, Epic wants an order that would prevent the tech giant from restricting the download of the Epic Games Store on Apple devices in the United Kingdom, and an order that would require Apple to lift the requirement that all apps need to be downloaded directly through App Store.
As for Google, Epic wants Google to stop imposing the pre-installation of Google Play on devices running Android in the UK.
“We believe that this is an important argument to make on behalf of consumers and developers in the UK and around the world who are impacted by Apple and Google’s misuse of market power,” said an Epic Games representative.
The trial between Epic and Apple is set to take place in May 2021.
The battle kicked off on August 13, 2020, when Epic Games let Fortnite players on Android and iOS devices purchase V-Bucks directly from Epic Games, bypassing the App Store or Google Play Store and thus ignoring the 30% transaction fee.
Later the same day, the App Store and Google Play removed Fortnite from their stores due to the direct payment options in the game. Mobile giants interpreted this move as a violation of the agreement and an attempt to avoid a 30% commission required by Apple and Google.
Epic also released the Nineteen Eighty Fortnite video, which parodied Apple’s ad about corporations that hold dominance over life. Epic then filed a lawsuit against Apple and Google, and in late August, a judge ruled in Apple’s favor, stating that the company did not have to reinstate Fortnite onto the App Store, but also ruled that the Cupertino company could not block Epic’s access to the Unreal Engine.
In November last year, Apple reduced the commission fee on in-app purchases to 15% for developers who earn less than $1 a year.