Feb 17, 2021 - Technology

Fortnite creator Epic files European Union complaint against Apple

Epic Games logo in rainbow with the text "Europe. Free Fortnite"

Image: Epic Games

Epic Games is taking its legal battle against Apple global, filing an antitrust complaint in Europe against the iPhone maker.

Why it matters: The move adds another layer to the protracted dispute and brings it to a jurisdiction that has historically been tougher on U.S. tech companies.

Catch up quick: Last September, Epic added its own in-app purchase mechanism to Fortnite, knowingly setting up a confrontation with Apple, which doesn't allow payment systems other than its own. Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store and Epic immediately filed suit.

  • A similar chain of events took place with Google on the Android side, though in that case, Epic can continue to distribute Fortnite on its own outside the Google Play store, while no similar option exists for iOS.
  • Apple also countersued Epic in October, claiming breach of contract.

Between the lines: Europe uses different standards than the U.S. when it comes to antitrust issues, focusing more on harm to rivals than the U.S., which tends to focus more on the impact on consumers.

  • The complaint itself is confidential, but the EU already has a pending investigation into Apple.

What they're saying: Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said in a statement that Apple's practices are bad for both consumers and developers.

“What’s at stake here is the very future of mobile platforms.” Sweeney said. “Consumers have the right to install apps from sources of their choosing and developers have the right to compete in a fair marketplace."

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