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Dispute over Fortnite: Epic brings complaint against Apple and Google to Europe

Fortnite maker Epic Games is expanding its action against Apple and Google: After the USA and Australia, the games company has now also filed a competition complaint against both companies in Great Britain. Both Apple and Google would abuse their market power with the requirements relating to app sales for iOS and Android and violate EU law (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) through their anti-competitive behavior in the UK and the EU, according to the Submissions published by the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal.

Apple only allows the purchase of an app for iPhones and iPads via its own store and requires that digital content can only be purchased via its own payment interface, leads Epic Games against Apple – The company uses this to estimate “unfair prices”. Epic accuses Google and Alphabet respectivelyto limit competition from alternative app stores. The Google Play Store presupposes that in-app purchases are made via Google’s payment interface and also demand “unfair prices” for this.

The dispute is about both platform access and the requirements for payment systems: Epic Games wants Apple and Google to allow alternative payment interfaces in their stores and Apple to allow alternative app stores.

Last August, Epic Games had secretly integrated its own payment interface into Fortnite, via which the in-game currency V-Bucks could be obtained at a lower price than via Apple’s and Google’s also built-in payment interface, each using a 30 percent Commission is to be paid to the operating system manufacturer. Both Apple and Google then threw Fortnite out of their app stores, followed by Epic’s competition complaints and a counterclaim by Apple for breach of contract.


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With the complaint to the Competition Appeal Tribunal, Epic now wants to force a return from Fortnite to the smartphone platforms in Great Britain, with its own payment interface. Apple should also no longer prevent the Epic Games Store from being downloaded on Apple devices, the complaint said. Google should be prohibited from requiring its Play Store to be pre-installed on Android devices or from giving it preferential treatment by third-party manufacturers.


(lbe)

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