Epic Games Takes Legal Action Against Apple Australia for App Store Ban
Epic Games alleges Apple’s misuses its market power
After suing Apple in the US, Epic Games started the process of suing the tech company in Australia as well. The company has claimed that Apple’s refusal to allow alternative payment options on other platforms besides the App Store breach the Australian Consumer Law.
Tim Sweeney, the Founder and CEO of Epic Games said: “This is much bigger than Epic versus Apple – it goes to the heart of whether consumers and creators can do business together directly on mobile platforms or are forced to use monopoly channels against wishes and interests.”
He added “Apple were pioneers of the personal computer, and [its] original products were open platforms. Anyone could write code, anyone could release software and users could install software from sources of their choosing. Today’s digital platforms must be similarly open to fair competition.”
For those of you who are unaware, Epic Games is not happy with the 30 per cent cut Apple gets from App Store transactions and has opposed that Apple does not allow alternative payments. In response, Apple has stated that the App Store policy helps enhance customer safety, and the payment policy Epic introduced was not approved. Epic Games had allowed consumers to pay via Fortnite directly, and Apple removed the game from the App Store in retaliation.
According to reports, Apple also stated “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.”
The company continued “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 Australia. 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 Australian courts.”
In September the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission(ACCC) stated that it was taking a closer look at Apple and Google’s control on mobile app marketplaces and in-app purchases
There have been two hearings in the US on the Apple vs Epic Games matter, and the case will go to trial in July 2021. The ban on Epic Games by Apple is still applicable, which means people in the US cannot download Fortnite and also install app updates on their iPhone or any other Apple device. There is no word yet on when the hearings will begin in Australia. Stay tuned for updates on this story.
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