CARY – In a new complaint, Epic Games is accusing Apple of “kneecapping” competition in how it utilizes Apple’s app store.
Epic disclosed early Tuesday the latest complaint against Apple, filing it in the United Kingdom.
The privately held gaming and technology firm already is embroiled in lawsuits and complaints against Apple – a former business partner – in the U.S. the European Union and Australia. A lawsuit against Apple – and a countersuit from the tech giant – is headed to federal court in California in early May.
Earlier this month, the United Kingdom’s Competition and Market Authority launched an official investigation into the distribution of apps on iOS and iPadOS devices in the U.K. and the terms and conditions governing the platform.
Epic says Apple’s app store policies are anticompetitive. For example, Apple has banned Epic’s globally popular Fortnite from the app store in a dispute over 30% fees Apple charges for online sales.
The latest complaint was filed iwith the United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), saying the action is “in support of its investigation into Apple’s anticompetitive behavior. This is an important step in Epic’s continued global fight for fairer digital platforms.”
Epic also is embroiled in a legal fight with Google.
“By kneecapping the competition and exerting its monopoly power over app distribution and payments, Apple strips UK consumers of the right to choose how and where they get their apps, while locking developers into a single marketplace that lets Apple charge any commission rate they choose,” said Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney in a statement Tuesday. “These harmful practices lead to artificially inflated costs for consumers, and stifle innovation among developers, many of whom are unable to compete in a digital ecosystem that is rigged against them.”
Epic says “Apple’s anticompetitive behavior and prohibitively restrictive rules governing the distribution of apps and payment processing constitute a clear violation of the UK Competition Act of 1998. It also illustrates Apple’s monopolistic practices, which forbid users and developers respectively from acquiring or distributing apps through marketplaces other than Apple’s App Store, while simultaneously forcing any in-app purchase to be processed through Apple’s own payment system.”
The company reiterated that it is “not seeking monetary damages. Instead, Epic is pursuing regulatory remedies that will prevent Apple’s intentional distortion and manipulation of the market and ensure fair access and competition for consumers and developers in the UK and around the world.”