Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Fortnite Maker Epic Games Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple in the EU

By Rich Duprey - Feb 18, 2021 at 10:42AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

It follows similar lawsuits filed in the U.S., Australia, and the U.K.

Fortnite developer Epic Games escalated its battle with Apple (AAPL 3.19%) by filing an antitrust complaint in the European Union (EU) over the fees Apple takes for in-app purchases made from apps downloaded from its App Store.

Although the two will face off in court in May, Epic is making its war on Apple's payment system a global affair, having filed similar lawsuits against it in the U.S., Australia, and the U.K.

Characters battling at sea in a Fortnite video game.

Image source: Epic Games.

Last summer, Epic Games bypassed Apple's fees by allowing Fortnite players to pay the developer directly for any in-app purchases. Apple's cut of such payments typically runs as high as 30%.

Although many developers have chafed over the system, none took on Apple for fear of losing access to the platform. That's part of the argument Epic is using in filing its lawsuit, writing in a blog post:

Apple has not just harmed but completely eliminated competition in app distribution and payment processes. Apple uses its control of the iOS ecosystem to benefit itself while blocking competitors and its conduct is an abuse of a dominant position.

Apple responded to the end run around its App Store fees by booting Epic Games from the platform, leading to lawsuits and countersuits. Epic is still unavailable from the App Store.

Apple argues the fees help the App Store remain secure, and Epic's efforts at bypassing the system violate the guidelines that apply to all developers accessing the system.

Although Epic has suffered a significant loss of Fortnite players after being booted from the App Store and the iOS operating system, the video game developer says it's not seeking to levy any monetary damages against Apple, only that fairness and competition be restored to the system.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said, "What's at stake here is the very future of mobile platforms."

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
AAPL
$147.11 (3.19%) $4.55

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
345%
 
S&P 500 Returns
119%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/16/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.