CARY – Epic Games is expanding its legal warfare with Apple to Australia, claming Apple is breaching Australian consumer law by banning Fortnite from the Apple app store and iOS operating system.
The case builds off its antitrust suit against Apple in the US in a fight over a 30% fee Apple charges on purchases made within its app store. Apple has countersued and the case is headed to trial in 2021.
“It’s another set of laws under which Apple’s practices are clearly in violation. And another chance to get this issue really thoroughly examined,” Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney told the Sydney Morning Herald. “And also there’s a really big and growing mobile software industry in Australia, a lot of great game developers, and they all suffer dearly by Apple and Google’s 30 per cent tax. I doubt there’s a single developer in Australia who makes more profit from their own games then Apple and Google make from their games.”
The Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission already has launched a review of Apple and Google over app store policies.
Epic also is fighting Google over fees.
“Apple has said they have the legal right to do whatever the hell they want because they make the devices. Under Apple’s legal theory they could charge 90 per cent. The very notion that they’re standing on is antithetical to free markets and competition,” Sweeney told the newspaper.
“Apple is essentially using its control of the hardware to force all commerce to go through them, against the will of developers and also against the will of consumers. What’s happening in the tech industry is really destructive. It needs to change rather fast.”