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Epic brings app store battle with Apple and Google to the UK

Two filings were submitted to the Competition Appeal Tribunal
Epic brings app store battle with Apple and Google to the UK
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Epic Games has chosen to bring its legal battles with Apple and Google to the UK.

The Fortnite creator has filed two separate claims to the Competition Appeal Tribunal against the tech giants.

Epic completed its filing against Apple on December 8th, in which it stated that "Apple is dominant in the iOS app distribution market and the iOS in-app payment processing market."

In its claim, the US-based company alleged that the iOS creator has unfairly used its position to "charge unfair prices for the distribution of apps" through its storefront.

Meanwhile, in the filing against Google, completed on December 29th, Epic claimed: "Google holds a dominant position in the Android app distribution market, and the Android in-app payment processing market."

Epic has insisted that the tech giant has unfairly restricted competition from other app stores on Android devices. As well as giving itself the only payment method on Google Play.

So it begins

The feud between Epic and the two tech behemoths began back in August 2020, when the games giant added a new payment option to Fortnite, circumventing the 30 per cent commission taken by Apple and Google.

As a result, the battle royale was removed from both the App Store and Google Play.

However, Epic is now asking the Competition Appeal Tribunal to rule that the removal of Fortnite from both storefronts was unlawful.

Moreover, the company wants the battle royale game to be reinstated on the App Store and Google Play in the UK. Not only that, but Epic is requesting that alternative payment methods be allowed.

Take it back

When looking at each filing separately, Epic has asked that court stop Apple from preventing the Epic Games Store from being downloaded on its devices.

Furthermore, the Fortnite creator has asked that an order be granted to prevent "Apple from making access to the iOS software and/or any other Apple software conditional."

However, when it comes to Google, Epic has asked that the tech giant be prohibited from having Google Play forcibly pre-installed on Android devices.

On top of that, the games giant has asked that Google be banned from interfering in talks between Epic and manufacturers in regards to the pre-instillation of the Epic Games Store on mobile devices.

In its filings, Epic has made no claim for monetary damages. However, it has asked for "such further or other relief as the Tribunal may think fit."

See you in court

The case between Epic and Apple has been escalating for months, with the pair due to appear in US courts in May 2021. However, despite the advice of Judge Gonzalez rogers, the pair will not have a trial by Jury.

In November 2020, following Apple's reveal of the Small Business Program, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney explained that the company is not fighting Apple "for a lower commission." Instead, it wants fair competition for all app developers.

That same month, the Fortnite creator decided to take its battle with the US tech firm to Australia.

However, Google has asked that its own case with Epic be kept separate from Apple. In fact, the Alphabet-owned company tried to have the case dismissed, though this was denied as was its attempt to have its case moved to 2022.

Like a pawn

Apple has released the following statement to in regards to the ongoing battle with Epic.

“For twelve years, the App Store has helped developers turn their brightest ideas into apps that change the world. Our priorities have always been to provide customers with a safe and trusted place to download software and to apply the rules equally to all developers," said Apple.

"Epic has been one of the most successful developers on the App Store, growing into a multibillion-dollar business that reaches millions of iOS customers around the world, including the United Kingdom. In ways a judge has described as deceptive and clandestine, Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines that apply equally to every developer and protect customers.

"Their reckless behaviour made pawns of customers, and we look forward to making this clear to courts in the UK.”