February 27, 2021

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Epic vs. Apple Fight Continues on European Ground

2 min read

  • Epic Games has filed an anti-trust complaint against Apple onto the European Commission.
  • A bill that would put the brakes on Apple’s practices was rejected recently in North Dakota.
  • The two companies have a long way of legal disputes in front of them, with a trial scheduled for May.

Epic Games, the developer of the Fortnite game through which it came to a rupture with Apple over what they call “absurd” terms of collaboration, is now taking its case to Europe with the filing of an anti-trust complaint there. This is not the first, nor the second complaint of this kind filed against Apple in the EU, as Telegram, Tile, Rakuten, and Spotify have all done the same.

Epic Games has trust in the European authorities and hopes they will identify Apple’s anti-competitive restrictions in payment cuts and software distribution and put an end to the practice. The example will be Fortnite, and the choice that Epic Games gave to its users will be to either pay more in the App Store or pay less directly to the game publisher.

That choice was against Apple’s rules, so Fortnite players never got to enjoy it anyway. Epic Games wants the European Commission to see this for what it is – an anti-competition act. Of course, each side has its arguments, and they are all valid, so we don’t expect to see this reviewed and decided upon any time soon.

What has been reviewed and discarded is a bill that would have forced Apple to allow developers and users to bypass the App Store restrictions. The bill was considered by North Dakota’s lawmakers and was voted against by 36-11.

So, at least on American ground, Epic Games lost a significant battle. The next one will be in Massachusetts, which according to a state representative, it’s soon to introduce a similar bill. We don’t know what chances this one could have, but the judiciary precedent is in favor of Apple.

As for the trial between the two companies, this one is scheduled to take place in the US District Court of the Northern District of California on May 3, 2021. Before that, we will get to have the first information about what the two legal teams are planning to produce in the pre-hearing rebuttals and conferences. Soon, the matter of what’s fair and what’s unacceptable will be determined, and Apple will get to either lose or keep a big source of income and most importantly, control.

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