It turns out that Epic Games’ announcement that it was doing an end-around with “Fortnite” to bypass Apple’s App Store 30% “tax” was a gambit to prompt legal action.
Earlier Thursday, Epic announced a 20% discount to “Fortnite” players who purchase the game’s virtual currency directly from Epic, instead of from Apple or Google. After Apple blocked access to “Fortnite” on iOS devices, Epic Games announced that it had filed a lawsuit against the tech giant, accusing Apple of anticompetitive restrictions on mobile device marketplaces.
“Rather than tolerate this healthy competition and compete on the merits of its offering, Apple responded by removing Fortnite from sale on the App Store, which means that new users cannot download the app, and users who have already downloaded prior versions of the app from the App Store cannot update it to the latest version,” Epic said in the lawsuit.
The games developer also said in the complaint that Apple’s removal of Fortnite “is yet another example of Apple flexing its enormous power in order to impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100% monopoly over the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Epic’s lawsuit.
In Apple’s statement about removing “Fortnite” after the developer introduced the direct-payment option, Apple claimed that its App Store guidelines “are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users.”
Epic Games posted a copy of the lawsuit against Apple, which was filing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, at this link.
More to come
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