Epic and European subsidiaries filed a competition complaint in London, as the British Competition Appeal Tribunal announced on Thursday. Apple is accused of abusing a dominant position. In a similar dispute in the US that has been going on for months, Apple rejects the allegations and accuses Epic of breach of contract in return.
In the end, the conflict could influence how apps are sold on smartphones – and how much money from the purchase price platforms such as Apple’s App Store or Google’s (Alphabet C (ex Google)) Play Store are allowed to withhold.
The dispute flared up in August after Epic no longer wanted to adhere to the more than a decade-long requirement that virtual items in the game on iPhones and iPads can only be offered through Apple’s in-app purchases system. Apple keeps 30 percent of the purchase price. Instead, Epic would like to run its own app store on the iPhone.
After the iPhone group rejected changes to the terms and conditions, the Epic developers built into the app the contractually prohibited option of being able to buy the items directly from Epic. For this purpose, a hidden function was activated in the application in August, which Epic had smuggled past Apple’s app reviewers.
On the same day Apple threw “Fortnite” with reference to the rule violation from the App Store. Epic immediately went to court accusing Apple of unfair competition. Apple claims damages in a counterclaim.