Epic Games raises antitrust complaint against Apple in the EU
Epic Games is trying its damnedest to force Apple and Google to loosen their grip on the App Store and Play Store. We recently learned that the company’s Coalition for App Fairness non-profit was lobbying for the North Dakota bill that could dismantle Apple and Google’s app store and payment monopolies. But while the bill may have failed to pass, Epic Games is far from giving up.
Epic Games has now filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in the EU, 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.” The complaint further claims that Apple uses its control of the iOS ecosystem to benefit itself while blocking competitors. According to Epic Games, Apple is abusing its dominant position and is in breach of EU competition law.
Talking about the complaint, Epic Games’ founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney, said, “What’s at stake here is the very future of mobile platforms. Consumers have the right to install apps from sources of their choosing and developers have the right to compete in a fair marketplace. We will not stand idly by and allow Apple to use its platform dominance to control what should be a level digital playing field. 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.”
In its complaint, Epic Games has asked the European Commission’s Director-General for Competition to address Apple’s anti-competitive conduct by “imposing timely and effective remedies.” The company isn’t seeking any damages from Apple, just fair access and competition that it thinks will benefit both consumers and developers.
For the unaware, the entire Epic Games vs. Apple/Google saga started when the company’s popular battle royale title Fortnite bypassed Play Store and App Store fees with direct payments last year. As a result, both Apple and Google removed the game from their respective platforms. This led Epic Games to sue the tech giants for violating antitrust laws and issue complaints with antitrust regulators in various regions. Fortnite is still not available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.