Epic Games announced on Wednesday that they have filed an antitrust complaint against Apple to the European Commission, which is the EU’s executive arm.
In a complaint lodged with the Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition, the Fortnite developer said that the 30% cut that Apple makes on App Store purchases is competitive.
Epic said Apple has “not only harmed but completely eliminated competition in app distribution and payment processes,” adding that it “uses its control of the iOS ecosystem to get itself while blocking competitors.”
The European Commission told CNBC that it had received the complaint and that it would assess it based on standard procedures.
Epic launched its own payment system in the app last summer to try to avoid paying the 30% commission that Apple takes from the revenue in the app. In response, Apple withdrew Fortnite from the App Store and revoked Epic’s developer license.
“Epic enabled a feature in its app that was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent to violate the App Store guidelines that apply equally to all developers and protect customers,” Apple said in a statement shared with CNBC. . . “Their ruthless behavior made customers pledge, and we look forward to making this clear to the European Commission.”
Apple also claimed that the App Store has helped developers turn their ideas into apps, adding that Epic has been one of the most successful developers in the App Store, and that it has grown into a multi-billion dollar business. of iOS customers.
Epic has also lodged complaints with competition regulators in the US and Australia, and led Apple to the UK Competition Tribunal.
The two companies will fight for it in a US court in May, and Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has been ordered to participate in a seven-hour deposit.
“What is at stake here is the very future of mobile platforms,” said Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney in a statement. “Consumers have the right to install apps from sources they choose, and developers have the right to compete in a fair marketplace. We will not stand still and let Apple use its platform dominance to control what should be an equally digital playing field.”
Sweeney added: “It’s bad for consumers who pay inflated prices due to the complete lack of competition among stores and payment processing in the app. And it’s bad for developers, whose livelihoods often depend on Apple’s full judgment of who should allow on iOS. platform, and on what terms. “
Epic is not the only company to have complained about Apple’s App Store. Music streaming giant Spotify has filed a complaint that Apple is unfairly squeezing its revenue, while Rakuten’s subsidiary Kobo and the messaging app Telegram have also complained about the cut Apple is taking on its e-book sales.
Last year, the European Commission started an investigation into whether Apple violates competition law by allowing app developers to use their payment system in the app.
Apple had a victory in the US on Tuesday when North Dakota voted down a bill that would regulate app stores.
The North Dakota State Senate voted 36-11 not to pass a bill that would have required app stores to enable software developers to use their own payment processing software and avoid fees from Apple and Google.