Apple is now being sued by the game developer in four jurisdictions.
Epic Games filed another antitrust complaint against Apple, this time in the European Union.
Filed with the European Commission, Epic accused the iPhone maker of applying a "carefully crafted series of anti-competitive restrictions" that have hurt competition when it comes to app distribution and payment processes.
“Apple uses its control of the iOS ecosystem to benefit while blocking competitors and its behavior constitutes an abuse of dominance and a violation of European competition law,” Epic Games said in a statement.
In the announcement, Epic Games said Apple's decision to block Fortnite - a popular game created by the game developer - from the iOS platform has hurt the company. She added that Apple has since launched its own game distribution service, Apple Arcade while banning Epic Games from doing the same.
Epic Games calls for corrective action“Consumers have the right to install applications from any source they choose, and developers have the right to compete in a fair market. We are not going to sit idly by and allow Apple to use its dominant position on the platform to control what should be a fair digital playground, “said Tim Sweeney, Founder, and CEO of Epic Games.
“It's bad for consumers, who are paying inflated prices due to the complete lack of competition between stores and payment processing through the app. And it's bad for developers, whose livelihood often depends on Apple's complete discretion as to who to authorize on the iOS platform, and under what conditions.
Prior to this latest complaint, Epic Games had already started legal proceedings in Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom that specifically targeted Apple's app distribution and payment processes.
Epic Games has said it is not seeking damages from Apple in its complaint to the EU. On the contrary, it asked the European Commission to "tackle Apple's anti-competitive behavior by imposing prompt and effective corrective measures".
Legal War in the USA, Australia, UK, and EuropeThe stalemate in Epic Games and Apple began six months ago, when Apple and Google blocked Fortnite from their app stores after Epic Games implemented an in-app payment system in the game to bypass the payment of the 30% commission of these stores. This sparked Epic's lawsuit against Apple and Google. The gaming company accused the tech giants of engaging in anti-competitive and monopolistic practices.
“Apple has become what it once rebelled against: the juggernaut that seeks to control markets, block competition and stifle innovation. Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched, and more pernicious than the monopolies of yesteryear. With a market cap of nearly $ 2,000 billion, Apple's size and reach far exceeds that of any technology monopoly in history, “Epic said in the initial request.
Apple then sued Epic Games in September, accusing the game developer of paying nothing for the value it got from its presence on the App Store by implementing its own in-app payment system application. The iPhone maker has also filed yet another lawsuit accusing Epic of making others pay for access to Apple's intellectual property and technology through the in-app payment system, as well as prepare a "smear campaign" against the company. However, this lawsuit was quickly rejected by the American court.
In the months that followed, Epic Games filed lawsuits in Australia and the UK against Apple. In both cases, Epic has said they want to make digital platforms fairer for consumers and developers.