Epic Games has filed a formal antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Commission, the company announced. According to Epic Games, the tech giant is abusing its dominant position and using its iOS ecosystem to create a non-competitive environment.
According to Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, consumers are free to install apps from sources they choose, and developers have the right to compete in a fair market. And Apple's methods are harmful to both consumers and developers. Epic says that Apple’s "carefully designed anti-competitive restrictions" give the tech giant too much control over developers on its platform.
One example of Apple's anti-competitive practices is a 30% cut from all in-app purchases on the App Store. Previously, this caused a conflict between the two companies that erupted last August when Epic Games bypassed Apple's 30 percent fee by creating a direct payment system inside Fortnite. As a result, Apple removed the game from the App Store. The developer later launched legal proceedings in Australia, and earlier this year, it filed another lawsuit against Apple and Google in the UK.
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said at a September online court hearing in the Epic Games and Apple case that the Fortnite developer's arguments were "not particularly impressive." According to her, Epic Games violated Apple's rules even though a 30% commission against which the developer is opposed is standard practice in the gaming industry.
Apparently, being dissatisfied with the court's decision, Epic Games decided to appeal to the European Union, where antitrust law standards are somewhat different. European authorities usually pay great attention to such complaints, and the accused companies are subject to rigorous scrutiny.
"Epic is not seeking damages from Apple, as is the case in the US, Australia, and the UK. It is simply seeking fair access and competition that will benefit consumers and developers," reads Epic’s statement.
The complaint from Epic follows the European Union's announcement about opening a formal antitrust investigation against Apple over app store payments. The EU is concerned that Apple’s policies make fair competition on the App Store impossible. Telegram, a popular messenger, also complained to the EU about Apple’s policies.
The lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games in the US is scheduled to begin on May 3 after a pre-trial conference on April 21.